December 6, 2012
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster announced today that he has charged Lorenzo St. Francis Chin with several felony charges including stealing and fraud, related to a sweepstakes scam targeting an elderly Missouri resident.
Chin allegedly contacted the victim by telephone and mail, and told the victim he had won cash prizes in excess of one million dollars. Chin is alleged to have claimed that the victim had to pay fees and taxes to several government agencies, including the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, to collect the prize.
“We will not stand for unscrupulous people to scam innocent victims and steal their money,” Koster said. “We will continue to do all we can to track down and arrest those who prey on elderly Missourians.”
Chin was arrested by the Croton-on-Hudson Police Department and is being held on a $50,000 bond. He is being held in the Westchester County Jail before being extradited to Missouri to face the charges against him.
The Attorney General is working with the Buchanan County Prosecutor Dwight Scroggins in the prosecution of Chin.
As in all criminal cases, the charges against Chin are allegations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Koster reminds Missourians to be wary of any unsolicited mail or phone calls, and never send money to people you do not know or do not already do business with. Koster also advised to carefully investigate any claim that taxes or fees must be paid to collect prize money. If there is doubt as to the legitimacy of an offer, Missourians should call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-9222.