A Manchester resident who led a $5 million lottery and romance fraud scheme has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Farouq Fasasi, 28, was sentenced yesterday in Bridgeport federal court to 168 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his role in lottery and romance scams that defrauded mostly older adults across the country, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.

Between approximately August 2015 and March 2020, Fasasi, along with Rodney Thomas Jr. and others, used lottery scams, romance scams and other fraudulent means to convince older adults to provide them with money, gifts and personal details, the U.S. attorney’s office said. Victims sent cash, money orders or checks through the mail to various addresses in Connecticut and also wired or deposited money into bank accounts in Connecticut controlled by conspiracy members and their associates, the statement said.

Fasasi, Thomas, and other co-conspirators lived together for a time at a residence on Sherman Avenue in New Haven, where prosecutors say packages containing cash, checks and money orders from victims were delivered.

Fasasi recruited others into the scheme, the statement said, including those who served as “money mules.” These individuals used personal bank accounts and established bank accounts in the names of businesses and charitable organizations to launder money obtained from fraud victims, the statement said.

The investigation revealed that these scams defrauded more than 200 victims across the U.S. of more than $5 million. The statement said some victims lost their life savings, and one Connecticut victim lost more than $1 million.

Fasasi was ordered to pay restitution in the amount $5,946,371.58.

Stanley Pierre, 35, of Bridgeport, was sentenced last week to 30 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in the scheme, which included establishing business bank accounts to launder funds.

Thomas awaits sentencing. Another participant in the scheme, Ralph Pierre, was sentenced in June to 36 months in prison. Two other people have been convicted in the scheme.