From his base in Canada, lottery scam mastermind David Stucky bedazzled victims from as far away as Australia and New Zealand with two get-rich-quick schemes.
While in Toronto, Stucky pocketed a cash windfall - about $C1 million ($1 million) - his victims received an average return of just 75 cents or a piece of cheap costume jewellery.
Canadian law enforcement agency The Competition Bureau - with the help of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and authorities in New Zealand, the US and Britain - successfully prosecuted Stucky.
The 57-year-old pleaded guilty to offences under Canada's Competition Act and last week was sentenced to a record fine of $C2 million, placed on probation for 18 months and is prohibited from engaging in any form of mass-marketing for 10 years.
Stucky has also agreed to donate $C100,000 to the Salvation Army.
"Mr Stucky targeted consumers in more than 200 countries, including Australia and New Zealand, and basically defrauded them," Competition Bureau senior communications adviser Greg Scott said.
Stucky trawled the world for victims by mailing out approximately 3.1 million copies of a lottery promotion.
The lottery ticket reselling scheme, involving bundles of Canadian Super7 lottery tickets, "gave consumers the misleading impression that they could win tens of millions of dollars", the Competition Bureau alleged.
The reality was that participants, for their investment, won just 75 cents on average over the 1½-year life of the scheme.
The other Stucky scheme, a sweepstakes offer, gave participants the false impression they would receive a cash prize of about $C5000 or "another valuable prize", but there was no big cheque or expensive prize waiting. Victims were sent an inexpensive piece of jewellery.
Canadian authorities received nearly 1000 complaints about Stucky's promotions.
The lottery promotion was marketed to residents of Australia, New Zealand and the US, while the sweepstakes promotion was sent to consumers in more than 200 countries.
Credit: Google News, AAP, Wires
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