Ticket sellers under the microscope in ticket theft enquiries
Three lottery ticket vendors in the British Columbia province of Canada could face criminal charges for theft and fraud, according to government briefing notes prepared for the provincial Solicitor General Shirley Bond in January this year.
CBC News reports that according to documents posted by the government online, the possible charges are the result of a province-wide investigation by the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch into the theft of winning lottery tickets by ticket retailers.
It is claimed that the probe uncovered sufficient evidence to recommend theft and fraud charges in three cases, although the culprits are not identified.
Back in 2007, the provincial ombudsman Kim Carter concluded that the B.C. Lottery Corporation did not have adequate procedures to ensure correct prize amounts are paid out to the rightful owners of winning tickets.
Two years later a CBC News investigation found that that lottery clerks in Manitoba were claiming prizes at a disproportionately high rate, and there were similar enquiries a year later in Ontario, when three members of a ticket retailer's family were charged with the theft of a $12 million lottery prize in 2003..
Reports of lottery ticket retailers at small convenience stores palming winning lottery tickets and telling the buyers that they had not won are not uncommon.