A Quebec man has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and international money laundering.
Martin Hogan was arraigned Monday morning in Rochester, New York, where he appeared via video.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Hogan is believed to have headed a network of fraudsters that would place phone calls to victims in the United States and advise them they had won a lottery in Canada, but before collecting their winnings, they had to first pay the taxes, brokerage fees, and/or custom fees.
Victims would allegedly send the funds by wire transfer or by mail.
Hogan was part of an investigation that was conducted in collaboration with the United States Postal Service, the Department of Homeland Security and the Customs and Border Protection Agency.
Last year, investigators arrested four suspected accomplices, who collaborated with authorities in exchange for a more lenient sentence.
According to court documents, Hogan allegedly defrauded approximately 37 victims, over the age of 55 years old, between 2015 and 2020, totaling around $1.5 million.
Hogan is currently being detained in the United States.
His next court appearance is set for March 1.