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Henderson senior charged with racketeering filed in elderly scam

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Prosecutors have accused a southern Minnesota man of wiring at least $800,000 to the Philippines in a lottery scam that involved mainly elderly victims.

Felony racketeering charges have been filed against 68-year-old Thomas Lawrence Murphy. The Henderson man is being held in the Sibley County Jail on $200,000 bond.

The Internal Revenue Service notified agents from the state Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division after it became suspicious of money transfers to the Philippines. Authorities say numerous victims across the U.S. were sending money to Murphy for a chance to win a lottery and that Murphy was a "money mule" for those funds.

State special agent Bill White says Murphy initially contacted Sibley County authorities claiming to be a victim of the scam that he was eventually found to be a part of.