10/17/2011 09:52 EDT | Updated 12/17/2011 05:12 EST

Americans targets of alleged Edmonton-based consumer lottery scam:RCMP

EDMONTON - A man in Edmonton has been charged in an alleged mail fraud scam that targeted people in the U.S.

RCMP say people received a letter from Edmonton saying they had won big prize money in a consumer lottery, but had to send a cheque to cover cross-border fees to collect their winnings.

They say the average loss per person was about $3,600 and the total value of the alleged scheme was more than $7 million U.S.

Police and postal investigators worked for five months last year to track down a suspect and the alleged victims, as well as pull more than 2,200 items from the Canadian and U.S. mail systems.

Richard Chukwu, who is 39, faces charges that include two counts of fraud over $5000, one count of commit fraud via mail and one of money laundering.

Chukwu will appear in Edmonton provincial court on Tuesday.