'You've Won $72 Million and a Mercedes Benz': Phone Scammer Gets 6 Years in Prison After He Made the Mistake of Calling William Webster, Ex-FBI and CIA Director
Tuesday February 12, 2019. 08:31 PM , from Slashdot
Reader McGruber writes: The Washington Post has an amusing story about phone scammer Keniel A. Thomas, who made the mistake of calling William H. Webster. Thomas told 90-year-old Webster that he had won $72 million and a new Mercedes Benz in the Mega Millions lottery, but that he needed to send $50,000 in taxes and fees to get his money. Thomas also told Webster he'd done his research on the top winner. 'You're a great man,' the scammer cajoled. 'You was a judge, you was an attorney, you was a basketball player, you were in the U.S. Navy, homeland security. I know everything about you. I even seen your photograph, and I seen your precious wife.'
Thomas's research didn't turn up everything. He didn't learn that the man he was calling was the former director of the FBI and the CIA, the only person ever to hold both jobs. And he didn't know that Webster would call him back the next day with the FBI listening in. Thomas was arrested in late 2017, after he landed in New York on a flight from Jamaica. He pleaded guilty in October and faced a prison term of 33 to 41 months under federal sentencing guidelines. But with Webster and his wife in the courtroom, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell on Friday added another 2 years to Thomas's sentence, giving him nearly six years to serve. Howell said that the scam qualified as 'organized criminal activity' and that Thomas posed 'a threat to a family member of the victim.'
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