Man jailed for lottery scam

2011-08-20 08:00
Bloemfontein - The Bloemfontein Regional Court on Friday jailed a Nigerian man for five years after he conned an accountant out of R37 500, and transferred R20 000 from a lawyer's bank account, Volksblad newspaper reported.

Francis Opara, 36, from Soweto, Johannesburg, was found guilty on three counts of money laundering.

Bloemfontein chartered accountant Sandra Bosch received an e-mail in November 2005 stating she had won £1.5m in Graphic Lottery International's draw.

She then paid money to a "lawyer to handle her claim to the lottery".

She smelled a rat when she contacted the UK's reserve bank, the Bank of England, who told her there was no such prize. She called the police.

Opara further managed to gain access to Bloemfontein advocate Louis Lategan's bank account and transferred R20 000 into his own, at an FNB branch in Johannesburg. Lategan did not know how Opara got his bank details.

The bank froze Opara's account. He was arrested when he went into the bank to query this, Volksblad reported.

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