Nearly everyone has experienced them, telephone scammers who are determined to help you part with your well-earned money. However, one telephone scam artist got a taste of his own medicine when he inadvertently contacted William Webster, who is a former FBI and CIA director.
According to NBC News, Keniel Thomas, 29, from Jamaica, first contacted Webster on June 9, 2014. In the initial phone conversation, Thomas identified himself as David Morgan and head of the Mega Millions lottery. Thomas then went on to proclaim that Webster was the winner of $15.5 million and a 2014 Mercedes Benz.
Webster, however, suspected something was wrong.
“It seemed to me that something wasn’t quite right,” Webster, 94, told NBC Nightly News on Tuesday. “This was pretty obvious to me that there was something fishy about it.”
In that initial phone call, Thomas then went on to tell Webster that he and his wife needed to pay $50,000 in order to “cover the taxes on the prize” and secure the prize.
After the phone call, Webster contacted the FBI. Webster had previously served as director of the FBI and the CIA under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
The FBI set to work trying to track down the telephone scammer. According to the Washington Examiner, Thomas contacted Webster and when Webster told the scammer that they couldn’t pay the money, Thomas suggested they make a part payment of $20,000. All the while, the FBI was tracking down identifying information about the scammer.
When Thomas didn’t get a response from the Websters, the phone calls became more threatening over time. Telling them they were the winners of a $72 million package, he also started to threaten them by saying he was spying on them.
“He terrified me,” Lynda Webster told NBC News. “He told me that what the sniper’s bullet would do to my head and the blood would go onto my white house.”
Thomas also threatened to burn down the Websters’ house, according to court documents.
After investigating, the FBI eventually arrested Keniel Thomas on December 18, 2017. He was then charged with interstate communication with the intent to extort.
Thomas pleaded guilty in October of last year to the charge and was sentenced last week.
According to NBC News, Thomas has been sentenced to 71 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell in Washington, D.C. It is also likely that Thomas will face deportation once his sentence is served, according to officials.