Former Lottery Worker Found Guilty of Fraud
Eddie Raymond Tipton, a former Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) employee accused of rigging a Hot Lotto draw to win $14.3 million, has been been found guilty of fraud. As the security director for MUSL, Tipton was not allowed to play the lottery or claim any prizes, but it was alleged that he bought a ticket for the draw in question in December 2010 and later had a friend try to cash in the money. Tipton pleaded not guilty to all charges, but a jury took just five hours to reach its decision and he now faces a lengthy prison sentence.
Prosecutors argued that Tipton had not only played the lottery but had also fixed the draw to make sure that he would win by tampering with the system. It was claimed that his position at the MUSL gave him the opportunity to install a rootkit to override the machine that generates the winning numbers, and that he changed the camera settings to record footage of the draw room at a rate of one second per minute to give him enough time to pull off the feat.
Tipton’s defence lawyer dismissed the theory that the computer had been manipulated and also insisted that he was not the man seen in a surveillance video showing the moment the ticket was purchased at a Des Moines store on 23rd December 2010. It was argued that Tipton was clean-shaven when the entry was bought and the person in the film had a beard, while there were witness testimonies from his family members suggesting he had different mannerisms than that of the man in the video.
However, other witnesses agreed with the prosecution that the man in the footage looked like, acted like and sounded like Tipton, while a licence plate in the store’s parking lot was also linked to Tipton. The case had already begun to arouse suspicions back in 2011, when a New York attorney named Crawford Shaw came forward to claim the money on behalf of a Belize-based corporation. He had the winning ticket but refused to identify who had bought it and the claim was later withdrawn, with no money paid out.
Assistant Attorney General of Iowa Rob Sand is happy the jury has now found Tipton guilty, telling Channel 13 News: “I think that we had a very strong case of circumstantial evidence, so even though there was not direct evidence in the terms of what we can actually show about the computers since it had been wiped clean, they were still able to understand from all of the circumstances, the defendant’s guilt.”
Tipton will be sentenced in September and could go to prison for up to ten years, although his lawyer Dean Stowers says there will be an appeal and does not expect the verdict to stand.
Pensioner Gets Last Laugh at Scammers’ Expense
A pensioner from Tayside has had a laugh at the expense of criminals who attempted to raid her life savings by pretending she was due a large lottery win. Maureen Mills was contacted by the group, believed to be operating from West Africa, and told that she had won £720,000 in the EuroMillions Baku Lottery. Knowing it was a scam, Maureen decided to ring the number provided and have a little fun by seeing what happened.
The 64 year-old was told that a cheque for the lottery ‘win’ would be sent out and, two days later, she received another letter demanding a one percent “clearance charge” before the it could be paid. Maureen rang the group again and insisted that she wouldn’t give out personal details over the phone, “I even suggested that they give me the money and then I would send them the one per cent,” she recalls, saying that “he got confused and said he would ring me back.”
When the man called again and told her that was not possible, she set about wasting his time by asking numerous questions before agreeing to divulge her bank details, but instead quoting an account number that consisted solely of zeros. The man eventually terminated the call, leaving Maureen triumphant, but also concerned that some others may not be so savvy about lottery scams.
The golden rule is that you simply cannot win a lottery that you did not enter. In addition, no legitimate lottery will demand payment in advance for clearance of funds, admin or taxes of any sort. You should also be wary of giving out personal information over the phone or online. If you play lotteries like Lotto and EuroMillions online, you will receive an email to tell you if you are a winner, but it is up to you to log in to your account and begin the claims process. Maureen saw the signs of a scam right away, but others may not – visit the Scams page at Euro-Millions.com to learn more about how to protect yourself from fraud.
Powerball Winner Sued After Cyclist is Injured
A Powerball winner has been taken to court after allegedly opening the door of his truck in a bike lane, leaving a cyclist in need of surgery. According to a lawsuit filed with the Brooklyn Supreme Court, cyclist Kieran Del Pasqua did not have time to stop and was sent flying when he crashed into the door of the Ford F150 in Park Slope on 27th May. The pickup is said to belong to Anthony Perosi, the Staten Island plumber who landed a $136 million Powerball jackpot on 14th March.
The lawsuit says that Del Pasqua now has screws in his elbow after requiring an operation, and is facing a fight to regain use of both arms. He has not worked since the accident and is now seeking compensation. Del Pasqua’s attorney, David MacCartney, said in the New York Post: “Lottery winners may feel and act carefree, but like the rest of us, they still owe a duty of reasonable care for the safety of their fellow citizens. Good luck is no substitute for careful driving and responsible behaviour.”
Del Pasqua’s lawsuit was filed five days after Perosi’s lottery win was announced on 4th June but, according to MacCartney, he did not know about it at the time. The New York Post says that Del Pasqua’s wife contacted Perosi days after the crash and he acknowledged opening the door. However, he reportedly ‘scoffed’ at the injuries and commented that Del Pasqua had ‘barely left a scratch in my door’.
Perosi had not realised he had won a Powerball prize until he went to check the wall behind a pipe in his basement where he pinned lottery tickets that he had recently bought. His truck had broken down and he was hoping for a few small prizes to help with the repair cost when he stumbled upon his great success. It remains to be seen whether he will now have to give away some of his winnings.
Meanwhile, the Powerball top prize of $80 million was won on Saturday by a lucky player from South Florida. The winning Quick Pick ticket was sold at Best Value Food Store in Plantation. There will be $40 million on offer in the next draw on Wednesday for anyone who can match all five main numbers plus the Powerball, so players are sure to be snapping up tickets online or from authorised retailers in a bid to emulate the latest winner and Perosi.
Staten Island Plumber Finds Ticket Worth $136 Million in Basement
A player who snapped up the second largest Powerball prize ever awarded in New York has admitted that he only found out about his success after his truck broke down. Anthony Perosi, a plumber from Staten Island, needed money for car parts and went to check the basement pipe where he tended to pin tickets he recently bought. He discovered that one ticket was worth $136 million and had been forgotten about for six weeks.
The ticket had been bought for the draw on 14th March and a friend had reportedly told Perosi that somebody else had won. Upon finding out that he had landed the staggering windfall, Perosi was in a state of shock.
“I was looking at the ticket, looking at the computer, looking at the ticket, looking at the computer,” he said at a press conference after coming forward to claim his prize. “I tried to breathe in, and nothing would go in, so I thought I was having a heart attack, like my heart stopped.”
Perosi, 56, plans to share his prize with his family and is looking forward to spending more time with his them in addition travelling around New York. He intends to carry on working but admits he will cut his hours back and ‘do some investing for the future of my nieces and nephews and my grandchildren, hopefully.’
The story of Perosi’s good fortune came out just after last Wednesday’s Powerball draw, when one ticket holder from Arizona grabbed the jackpot of $188.9 million. Following a rollover on Saturday, players will be keeping a close eye on their tickets ahead of the next draw in midweek, when the top prize will be $50 million. Tickets can also be bought online to take away the worry of having to keep them safe, providing participants with added security as they play for life-changing amounts of cash.
Australian Powerball Dispute as Winner Distances Himself from Syndicate
Members of an Australian Powerball syndicate are gearing up for a legal battle after one of their co-workers insisted that a ticket worth $16.6 million had not been bought on behalf of the group. According to newspaper The Age, former courier Gary Baron finally admitted over the weekend that he had won a stake in the $50 million jackpot for the draw on 16th October 2014.
It is reported that he had previously denied winning the prize to several members of the syndicate, having called in sick the day after the draw. He quit work the following Monday and reportedly said that he was suffering from a medical condition. Baron had been in charge of collecting money from his colleagues each week and entering the Powerball via an online Tatts Group account.
It has been revealed by an ASIC search that Baron set up an investment company within days of winning, before going on to buy a new home, spend $200,000 on a convertible BMW M4 and purchase property for his son. Baron also had champagne delivered to his house by Tatts Group shortly after winning, and it was delivered by the Toll Group logistics company which he worked for, which aroused suspicion among the syndicate members.
A statement was released last October from the three players who split the $50 million, including an anonymous response thought to be from Baron. The anonymous winner said: “I’m still in disbelief … I don’t need that amount of money, it’s too much for me! I’m going to share the prize money with my family. I’ll make sure it doesn’t change who I am, but I’ll definitely be able to live a better lifestyle, with a few more toys.”
Baron has now said that the winning ticket was bought separately to the syndicate and claims that his lawyer has evidence to show that he is entitled to all of the money. There were 16 members of the syndicate and Fairfax Media has reported that 14 of these are set to take Supreme Court action, with a writ likely to be lodged this week.
In court documents, it will reportedly be alleged that Baron reneged on a deal to share the winnings, which would have left each member of the syndicate more than $1 million richer. Apart from Baron, the only other member of the syndicate not involved in the imminent legal proceedings is one woman who also resigned from Toll Group and is now reportedly his girlfriend.