Thursday April 7,2016 : IOWA LOTTERY SCAM IN THE HEADLINES AGAIN (Update)
New evidence results in Tipton sibling charges.
A massive lottery rigging scam that extended across several US states hit the headlines again this week as new forensic evidence surfaced, prompting Iowa investigators to lay charges against Tommy Tipton, brother to the main defendant in the case, Eddie Tipton.
InfoPowa readers will recall that Eddie Tipton, a senior lottery security official of the Multi-State Lottery in Iowa, was convicted last year of fixing a $16.5 million Hot Lotto jackpot in 2010, and is awaiting trial on charges linking him and his associates to five other lottery prizes.
Prosecutors have alleged he tampered with random number generators used by state lotteries, but until now haven't had digital evidence because the hard drives on the computers he worked on had been erased or destroyed.
The new forensic evidence shows how Tipton rigged drawings across the country, Iowa investigators claimed Wednesday as they charged his brother Tommy in connection with jackpots he allegedly claimed in Oklahoma and Colorado.
The Associated Press news agency reports that court documents filed Wednesday show Wisconsin authorities were able to recover the random number generator used for a $2 million jackpot Megabucks jackpot claimed by Eddie Tipton's best friend in 2008.
"A forensic examination found that the generator had additional, unauthorized segments of code that were installed after it had been reviewed and verified as legitimate by a lottery security firm," the AP report reveals. "That code directed the generator not to produce random numbers on three particular days of the year when they fell on certain days of the week. Instead, numbers on those days would be drawn by a "multi-variable algorithm" that Tipton could predict based on his knowledge of how it worked, the documents said."
All of the six jackpots linked to Tipton were drawn on either the days of Nov. 23 or Dec. 29 over a span of several years.
"Upon re-creating the draws according to the algorithm, forensic examiners produced the very same `winning numbers' from the program that was supposed to produce random numbers," Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agent Don Smith testified in an affidavit.