Judge refuses to suppress lottery scam suspect’s statements

A Rhode Island woman accused of funneling lottery scam money between the U.S. and Jamaica through her airline job has lost her battle in federal court in North Dakota to have evidence suppressed.

Melinda Bulgin argued that her rights to have an attorney present and to not incriminate herself were violated during questioning by authorities in both countries in 2015.

But Judge Daniel Hovland said in an order Wednesday that it’s doubtful Bulgin was confused about her rights.

What’s believed to be the first large-scale Jamaican lottery scam tried in U.S. courts began with an investigation in North Dakota in 2011. Authorities say at least 90 Americans lost a total of more than $5.7 million.

Twenty-seven people were indicted. All but three have pleaded guilty or been convicted.

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