A 37-year-old Merrick man has admitted to his role in a prize-promotion fraud that scammed thousands of seniors nationwide out of more than $30 million over a six-year span, federal prosecutors said.
Shaun Sullivan pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit mail fraud in Central Islip federal court.
“Sullivan preyed on consumers, many of them vulnerable and elderly, by sending fraudulent mailings designed to trick them into believing they had won a cash prize,” said Richard Donoghue, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “He then lined his own pockets with the fees he extracted from the victims.”
Authorities said Sullivan and others sent fraudulent prize-promotion mailings that led recipients, many of whom were elderly and vulnerable, to believe that they could claim large cash prizes in exchange for a modest fee between December 2010 and July 2016. None of the victims who submitted fees received a substantial cash prize.
Sullivan and his co-defendant Tully Lovisa obtained the victim’s names from consumer lists, had the victims send their fees to rented mailboxes, and hid their involvement by using shell companies using straw owners and aliases, according to investigators.
Lovisa pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud in October 2018 and is awaiting sentencing.
Sullivan faces up to 20 years in prison, $550,000 in forfeiture, and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss from the offense when he is sentenced by Judge Joanna Seybert.