Like a scene from the Will Smith movie 'Focus',
Stephanie Quintero Sanchez, 32, (Left) and Richard Antonucci, 34, (Right) ran a million dollar telemarketing fraud scheme that scammed people in Charlotte and throughout the United States.
They worked at an illegal telemarketing call center in Costa Rica. They would call Americans and falsely claim to work for the Federal Trade Commission or FBI and inform the victim that they had won a lottery or sweepstakes.
Stephanie and Richard would then inform the victims that in order to get the sweepstakes money they had to pay various fees, taxes, and insurance premiums up front. But, the victims never got any money in the scam.
The suspects used Western Union wire services in and around Charlotte to retrieve money from the victims. Richard was brazen enough to go to innocent victim's houses to retrieve money and send it back to Costa Rica.
Stephanie and Richard are both American citizens so traveling in and out of the country was no problem.
Stephanie and Richard had other people helping them in the scheme, some who have been caught and some that are on the run. The suspects made close to a million dollars enriching themselves by fraudulently inducing victims to send money in exchange for non-existent lottery and sweepstakes money.
Government records show that the scheme generated $1,700 per victim in some instances.
Stephanie was arrested in Costa Rica last year, extradited back to the United States last Friday and had her initial court appearance on July 31, 2018 in Charlotte. She is detained pending her detention hearing scheduled for this Friday August 3, 2018.
Richard was also arrested and has already pled guilty.