Stevian Simmonds reports.

A convicted scammer has been ordered to pay $13-million in fines, after fleecing over $20 million fraudulently from US residents. 

35 year-old Algrando Stewart pleaded guilty to Possession of Identity Information last month in the St. James Circuit Court.

The Financial Investigation Division, FID, says it engaged in top tier investigative work with the Police, to bring Stewart to justice. 

Acting Principal of the FID Keith Darien, says the convict’s guilty plea also assisted with the case. 

The Police searched Stewart’s home in August 2016.

They seized a cellphone with lottery scamming materials.

The FID says the Police also seized more than US$6,000 and over JMD$116,000 during that search.

Stewart  was charged under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The FID’s action triggered a money laundering probe. 

It revealed that Stewart received over $20-million in remittances from several people in the United States.

The majority of them  were elderly people.

It also revealed he’d purchased two residential lots in Trelawny valued at over JMD$7-million and that he’d acquired three motor vehicles valuing approximately JMD$8-million over a four-month period. 

He also had over USD$9,000 dollars cash in the bank.

The FID says Stewart’s claim of being a carpenter remains unsubstantiated.

The US States Postal Inspection Services, USPIS, was unable to obtain statements from Stewart victims. 

Many of them were in poor health. 

Stewart was not extradited to the US to face that nation’s courts. 

The FID says Stewart decided to plead guilty when he realized the mounting evidence against him.

It says that includes cell phone records. 

The FID says Stewart consented to the forfeiture of his multi million dollar properties. 

And he’s to pay $12-million to the court over the next 2-years.

Stewart is to also serve 2-years in prison.