Articles Tagged with hoax

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Louisville resident Kingsley I. Ekpendu has been accused of targeting elderly people using a hoax consisting of telling them they had won cash prizes in a sweepstakes. He allegedly extorted money from the assumed winners after sending them counterfeit checks to deposit into their bank accounts. He then asked that they overnight money to a specified address. It is suspected that he was able to con hundreds of thousands of dollars from people in this manner.

Police stated that between September 2 and October 4 Ekpendu allegedly mailed letters to three or more addresses announcing they were winners of the Publishers Clearing House Super Cash Giveaway. The letters held fraudulent checks for amounts between $6,000 and $8,000, and instructions to deposit the check and overnight mail an amount ranging from $5,200 to $7,000 in order to claim their winnings.

Law enforcement received information from a local shipping company who became suspicious of the number and size of the packages being delivered to an address that appeared to be a vacant dwelling. Ekpendu received the first two of the three packages, and police intervened before he was able to get the third.

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A California woman, Denise Huskins, described the “hell that we have survived” to her abductor, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison. The police originally dismissed this case as a hoax because it was so elaborate and downright bizarre.

Huskins was held for two days, after being kidnapped and sexually assaulted by the abductor, which she describes as physical and psychological torture. The disbarred lawyer, Matthew Muller, reportedly snatched her from her home in San Francisco two years ago.

“I still have nightmares every night,” she said, fighting back tears. “Sleep is not rest for me; it is a trigger.” Her boyfriend was bound and drugged during the kidnapping. He said “he can not and will not ever be the same.” U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley called the abduction a “heinous, atrocious, horrible crime” as he sentenced 39 year-old Muller. Muller faced up to life in prison, but prosecutors agreed to 40 years in exchange for his guilty plea. Muller’s lawyer wanted a 30 year sentence arguing that Muller had manic depression and could be rehabilitated with proper treatment.