A Huntington Station man who masterminded a $30 million scheme to defraud people pleaded guilty Friday in federal court.
Tully Lovisa, 55, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, officials said.
The scheme consisted of tricking the mostly elderly and vulnerable victims around the country to pay fees to claim large cash prizes which didn’t exist, officials said. They were promised prizes ranging from tens of thousands to several million dollars if they sent in a so-called “processing” fee that ranged between $19.95 to $25, prosecution officials said.
When Lovisa and two others were arrested in July, Eastern District United States Attorney Richard Donoghue called the scheme “ a cruel hoax on victims, many of them elderly and vulnerable.”
Lovisa’s involvement in the scheme was also in violation of prior court orders that resulted from a lawsuit against him by the FTC. As part of his resolution the FTC lawsuit, Lovisa was ordered by a federal court to sell a home he owned in Las Vegas, NV., and turn over the proceeds to the FTC.
Lovisa arranged for a sham sale of the house in September 2012 for $155,500, and then sold the house in April 2015 for $540,000 and kept the proceeds.
When sentenced, Lovisa faces up to 20 years in prison on each count, as well as forfeiture of at least $1 million and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss from each offense.