An Ogunquit woman was allegedly part of a scheme in which callers told seniors they’d won substantial amounts of money in a lottery and had to pay taxes and fees to claim it, according to court documents.

The woman, 33-year-old Crystal Blake, has been charged in U.S. District Court in Portland with money laundering.

She was arrested Monday in New York City, the day she was scheduled to leave the country for Jamaica, according to a court affidavit. Blake is a Jamaican national with a guest worker visa who was a seasonal employee at an Ogunquit hotel.

Blake and her alleged co-conspirator, named only by the initials K.F. in court documents, allegedly were part of a lottery scam in 2021 and 2022. Callers phoned individuals, who usually were over the age of 70, and told them they’d won a substantial amount of money in a lottery but had to pay fees and taxes before they could receive it, the affidavit said.

The individuals were instructed to send cashier’s checks or transfer funds to a bank account opened by a co-conspirator. Scammers often made multiple phone calls to victims urging them to send or transfer the money.

Four victims, who are not named, are described in the affidavit.

All are in their 70s, with two living in California, one living in South Carolina and one in Canada. All said they’d been called and told they’d won a large sum of money and vehicles.

The scam came to the attention of police this summer after the manager of the hotel where Blake and K.F. worked intercepted a package meant for K.F.

In it the manager found $13,500 in Canadian money hidden in the pages of a phone book addressed to Keedle Sletcher, a misspelling of K.F.’s name, the affidavit said.

Blake and K.F., who also is a Jamaican national, have a child together. So far, K.F. has not been charged in Maine.

The manager turned the money and the phone book over to the Ogunquit police, according to the affidavit. A man later called the resort claiming he’d been the victim of a scam and said that he had sent the phonebook and the money to the resort.

In all, Blake allegedly laundered nearly $40,000 through three different bank accounts between January and June of this year. She transferred more than $27,000 to K.F., according to the affidavit.

In an interview with investigators, Blake denied being part of the scheme.

She made her first court appearance in New York City on Tuesday. She was released on personal recognizance bail with conditions that she not leave New York or Maine without permission from U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services.

If convicted, Blake faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $500,000. She also could be ordered to pay restitution to the victims.