Former Lottery Worker Found Guilty of Fraud

July 21, 2015 by  
Filed under Lottery News

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 He had the winning ticket but refused to identify who had bought it and the claim was later withdrawn, with no money paid out.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.

Lottery Employee Accused of Hot Lotto Fraud Has Trial Delayed

April 14, 2015 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

A former lottery worker accused of tampering with a number generator to win $14.3 million has had his trial pushed back until July after prosecutors presented more than 500 pages of new material, along with videos and recordings. Eddie Raymond Tipton was arrested and charged with two counts of fraud in January after he was accused of purchasing a Hot Lotto ticket, which he was barred from doing by law as a lottery employee.

Tipton worked as the information security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) when there was a mystery Hot Lotto winner appeared in Iowa in December 2010. The winning ticket was not claimed for almost a year and then, hours before the expiry date, a New York attorney named Crawford Shaw came forward on behalf of a corporation supposedly based in Belize. The ticket was valid, but Shaw was not paid because he refused to name who had bought the ticket, and he later withdrew the claim, saying that he didn’t know the identity of the winner.

The customer who is thought to have purchased the winning ticket in Des Moines can be seen wearing a dark hood in surveillance footage released last October, but following a tip-off police were able to analyse their voice and match a licence plate in the parking lot of the convenience store to Tipton. As Tipton couldn’t claim cash prizes, it has been alleged that he approached two men in Texas to ask for help in claiming the jackpot anonymously.

In court documents filed last week ahead of the trial, prosecutors have now accused Tipton of allegedly entering a locked room at the lottery association which contained the random number-generating computers. It is alleged that he went into the room on November 20, 2010, a month before the $14.3 million was won, and used software on a thumbdrive to infect the computers and control the winning numbers.

According to prosecutors, cameras on the day in question did not run continuously like they would normally and instead recorded only one second per minute. “Four of the five individuals who have access to control the camera’s settings will testify they did not change the cameras’ recording instructions,” prosecutors wrote in court documents reported by the Des Moines Register. “The fifth person is defendant. It is a reasonable deduction to infer that defendant tampered with the camera equipment to have an opportunity to insert a thumbdrive into the RNG tower without detection.”

Tipton has pleaded not guilty to all charges and his attorney has dismissed the computer tampering theory as not ‘factually viable’. Jury selection was set to begin on Monday, but Judge Jeffrey Farrell has now allowed Tipton’s defence more time to prepare, and the trial has been rescheduled to restart on Monday 13th July.