Lottery scamming family ordered to pay millions

In an emphatic legal victory, the Financial Investigations Division (FID) secured a significant judgment in the Supreme Court on March 7, 2024, resulting in pecuniary penalty orders exceeding J$5million against three individuals implicated in lottery scam operations. The penalties were ordered under the stringent provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).

The trio, consisting of familial relations, includes Keyfa Barrett, a 43-year-old autobody mechanic with no known legitimate source of income; his spouse, Davian Wilson, a waitress aged 39; and Kelson Barrett, Keyfa’s cousin, also aged 43 and a chef, similarly with no known legitimate source of income. All parties hail from Lucea, Hanover.

Court Orders

  • Keyfa Barrett faces a pecuniary penalty of J$1,695,550, with J$424,030 payable immediately and the balance to be paid in monthly installments of J$26,490 across four years. Non-compliance will result in the seizure and sale of his assets.
  • Meanwhile, Davian Wilson was mandated to pay a total of J$970,000, starting with J$250,000 immediately and the remainder in monthly installments of J$15,000 over four years. There are instructions to liquidate Wilson’s possessions to settle any unpaid amounts.
  • Lastly, Kelson Barrett was directed to pay J$2,560,000 with an upfront payment of J$1million and the rest in monthly installments of J$32,500 also over four years.

Keith Darien, the Principal Director of Investigations at the FID, commented on the judgment: “The Supreme Court’s rulings are a testament to the judiciary’s firm stance on enforcing financial legislation and its role of deterring similar offenses in future. The FID is resolute in its dedication to combating financial crimes and recovering the proceeds of illicit conduct.”

He also reflected on the cooperative nature of this success: “The results underscore the efficacy of the collaborative efforts of local law enforcement, in this instance the JCF, as well as the judiciary, and international allies. The FID, together with its associates, remains alert and committed to the prosecution of perpetrators of financial crimes, thereby upholding justice and preserving Jamaica’s financial integrity.”


The case originated from a routine traffic check by officers of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in February 2011 along Norman Manley Boulevard in Negril, Westmoreland. Kelson Barrett and Davian Wilson were passengers in a vehicle driven by Keyfa Barrett. A conspicuously placed large leather bag, overflowing with cash and visible to the officers, triggered further examination.

Keyfa Barrett claimed ownership of the bag, but further discussions about the source of the cash revealed various inconsistencies which aroused the suspicion of the officers. This suspicion warranted formal interviews with the individuals at the Negril Police Station.

The information gathered from those interviews prompted the police to seize the cash on reasonable suspicion of its ties to criminal activity. Subsequently, the police engaged the FID to lead an extensive investigation into their financial activities.

Thorough investigative processing resulted in the recovery of electronic devices and notebooks containing identity information and financial details consistent with lottery scamming. Further analysis uncovered that over a five-year span (2007–2011), the Barretts and Wilson received more than J$26million from 32 US citizens with whom they have no familial ties. The transactions were conducted through local remittance services and credit unions. These findings culminated in the conviction of all three for engaging in transactions involving criminal property (linked to lottery scamming and related fraudulent acts).