A New Jersey man accused of scamming money from vulnerable adults in Tucson was sentenced to nearly six years in prison last week, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Joseph Andre Batts, 44, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to mail and wire fraud. He was sentenced to serve 70 months in prison.

From 2013 to 2018, Batts partook in a Jamaican crime ring that targeted and called vulnerable seniors claiming the victims had won large amounts of money from a lottery or publishing house, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

To access their “winnings,” victims were told they would need to send thousands of dollars in “taxes” or “fees” to the scammers to collect their prizes.

Batts’ role in the operation was to distribute “lead lists,” containing the names and information of vulnerable adults, to others and to come up…

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