LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Three people, including a Las Vegas woman, face federal charges connected to what prosecutors called a mail fraud scheme that defrauded thousands of American citizens, many of them elderly, documents the 8 News Now Investigators reviewed said.
Barbara Trickle, 78, of Las Vegas, allegedly conspired with Kimberly Stamps, 46, of Gilbert, Arizona; and John Kyle Muller, 56, of Boulder, Colorado, to “[deceive] thousands of consumers into paying fees for falsely promised prizes,” prosecutors said.
The trio allegedly mailed millions of prize notices from 2012 to 2018. The mailer indicated that the person would receive a large cash prize if they paid a fee between $20 and $50, documents said.
The loss to victims totaled about $15.5 million, prosecutors said, adding many are “elderly and vulnerable.”
“Although the notices appeared to be personalized correspondence, they were merely mass-produced form letters that were bulk-mailed to recipients whose names and addresses appeared on mailing lists purchased and rented by the defendants,” prosecutors said.
Trickle is accused of producing the mailings and putting them in the U.S. Mail, documents said.
“[Trickle] was the owner and operator of a printing and mailing business that produced the fraudulent prize notice mailings for the scheme,” documents said. “Trickle supervised the lasering, printing, and mailing of the fraudulent prize notices. She also directed her employees to analyze victim response data in furtherance of the scheme. Trickle was paid by her co-conspirators for these services.”
The group was under a cease-and-desist agreement with the Postal Service, beginning in 2012, prosecutors said.
The trio faces charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and multiple counts of mail fraud and wire fraud, records showed. They were scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 15.
Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a minimum fine of $250,000.