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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — A group of men will be spending a lot of time behind bars after scamming a lot of innocent people.

Four men have been sent to federal prison for their roles in a Florida sweepstakes fraud scheme involving thousands of victims around the U.S.

The Miami U.S. Attorney’s Office says in a news release that the four were sentenced to prison terms of between seven and just over three years.

They were convicted of mail fraud conspiracy charges.

Prosecutors say they falsely notified people by mail that they had won a substantial prize and that the recipients had to pay a fee of between $20 and $50 to claim their winnings.

The fraudulent letters told victims to pay the fees in cash or by check or money order payable to fictitious companies, but the money went to the defendants.

About 100,000 people were victimized by the fraud scheme.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  1. TampaBayContests says:

    Good giving sweepstakes a BAD name

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