DETROIT – A Michigan lottery addict was sentenced to more than four years in prison on Wednesday for a scheme that cost investors more than $ 23 million.
Viktor Gjonaj from Troy told people he was investing their money in real estate transactions. Instead, he was playing Daily 3 and Daily 4 games – over $ 1 million a week by 2019.
Gjonaj believed he had discovered a guaranteed way to win big jackpots, according to his plea deal.
Instead, Gjonaj “ended up with nothing but a federal felony conviction,” defense attorney Steve Fishman said in a court file.
Gjonaj, a real estate broker, set up a bogus securities company and asked investors to wire money into a bank account, investigators said.
US District Judge Linda Parker sentenced him to 53 months in federal prison.
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Fishman, who had asked for 30 months, said Gjonaj confessed to the FBI even before agents knew there was a scam.
He called it an “extraordinary acceptance of responsibility.”