A woman from Orange was charged with defrauding seniors out of over a half million dollars after convincing them to pay the taxes on their fake sweepstakes winnings.

Shanile Lyle, 27, is accused of calling seniors who lived in Hawaii, Indiana and Kentucky in 2018 to tell them that they had "won" large amounts of money and prizes but needed to pay taxes.

Several victims sent checks totaling at least $675,000, which Lyle deposited into her bank accounts and transferred to her conspirators, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said

According to the complaint, one of the victims was a 94-year-old woman who thought she won the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes and wrote several checks totaling $500,000.

A 75-year-old woman sent three checks totaling $30,000 thinking she had won $2 million and a car in a sweepstakes, according to the complaint. Prosecutors said Lyle used this money to buy cell phones and gift cards for her co-conspirators.

A third woman, age 86, sent $20,000 to cover her "winnings" of a large amount of money and an automobile, prosecutors said.

Lyle was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and released after an initial court appearance on Monday.

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