- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 11, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Prosecutors allege three Rhode Island residents scammed thousands of people in sweepstakes solicitation schemes that netted more than $10 million since 2011.

U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island Stephen Dambruch says a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday, prohibiting Michael Shine and his wife Meagan, Melissa Pinelli, and their companies from using the postal service to distribute sweepstakes solicitations.

Dambruch says people in 41 states were led to believe they had won money or valuable prizes, which they could claim by submitting processing fees of $20 to $30.

He says some elderly victims sent more than $1,000 in response to multiple solicitations.

A listed, working number for Michael and Meaghan Shine couldn’t be found. Michael Shine didn’t immediately respond to an email.

Pinelli said she wouldn’t comment.

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