LI trio charged in $30M bogus prize scam

Posted: Updated:
WOODBURY -

Three people from Long Island are accused of running a scam that stole more than $30 million from victims across the country.

Prosecutors say Tully Lovisa, a 55-year-old from Huntington Station, Shaun Sullivan, a 37-year-old Merrick man, and Lorraine Chalavoutis, a 61-year-old Greenlawn woman, used shell companies to mail letters to hundreds of thousands of people, misleading recipients to think they'd won a prize.

The victims, mostly senior citizens, were told they had to pay a processing fee of $20 to $25 to claim the prize, which did not exist.

"This case clearly involves a massive fraud on vulnerable victims," said Kathleen Tomlinson, the federal judge overseeing the case.

The three suspects face charges of mail fraud and money laundering and could spend up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

None of them or their relatives spoke with reporters after their arraignments.

Sullivan and Chalavoutis were released on bail. 

Lovisa could not make his $5 million bail and remains in custody. In 2010, the Federal Trade Commission sued him for another scheme, and he was prohibited by a court order from dealing in prize motion mailings.

He is expected to make bail Thursday. But he will not be allowed to leave his home, work, or use a computer or any phones with internet access. And he'll be electronically monitored 24/7.

  • SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
  • Your Long Island Fall Fun Photos

    Your Long Island Fall Fun Photos

    Monday, October 7 2019 12:12 PM EDT2019-10-07 16:12:23 GMT
    Fall FunFall Fun
    Fall FunFall Fun
    Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 Long Island wants to see your Fall Fun pics!
    Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 Long Island wants to see your Fall Fun pics!
  • Your Kids Corner Photos

    Your Kids Corner Photos

    Looking for something fun to do with the kids this weekend? News 12 has you covered.Looking for something fun to do with the kids this weekend? News 12 has you covered.
    Looking for something fun to do with the kids this weekend? News 12 has you covered.Looking for something fun to do with the kids this weekend? News 12 has you covered.
    Did you do something fun with your kids this weekend? Share your adventure with us!
    Did you do something fun with your kids this weekend? Share your adventure with us!
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."