Tuesday December 22,2015 : U.S. STATE LOTTERY SCANDAL WIDENS (Update)
Kansas is the fifth state prejudiced in insider scam.
The criminal fraud on state lotteries allegedly perpetrated by former Multi-State Lottery Association security chief Eddie Tipton has widened to include Kansas.
New reports by investigators Monday indicate that Tipton personally bought two tickets that won jackpots in Kansas, bringing to five the number of states where he may have rigged lottery drawings.
Investigators recently linked Kansas jackpots won in 2010 to Tipton, according to Iowa assistant attorney general Rob Sand, who claims in court documents that evidence will show that Tipton associates who claimed the prizes returned half of the money in cash directly to him in early 2011.
A Kansas Lottery statement disclosed that:
"Tipton allegedly purchased two winning tickets to the "2by2" game at separate locations while he was traveling through Kansas on business in December 2010. Each was worth $22,000, the prize for any player with the day's winning numbers, and were claimed by individuals from Iowa and Texas."
Whilst Tipton was in a high position of trust with the Multi-State Lottery Association, which manages lotteries for 37 states and territories, he had access to random number generators that pick winning numbers for some national games such as Hot Lotto and games played in individual states.
Prosecutors believe that Tipton, 52, used his access to those machines to surreptitiously install software programs that let him know the winning numbers in advance before disappearing without a trace. They say he worked with associates such as his brother Tommy Tipton – a Texas judge – and Texas businessman Robert Rhodes to play those numbers and collect prizes dating back to 2005.
Kansas Lottery officials were alerted to the scam following investigations in Iowa, the headquarters of the Multi-State Lottery Association where the alleged manipulation occurred.
Earlier this year, a jury convicted Tipton of fraud for fixing a $16.5 million Hot Lotto jackpot dating back to 2010. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison but is free pending an appeal.
Since his conviction, Iowa prosecutors have charged Tipton with ongoing criminal conduct and money laundering for allegedly fixing jackpots valued at $8 million in Colorado, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. The Kansas jackpots were added to the charges in that case on Monday.
Tipton's attorney, Dean Stowers told Associated Press reporters that there is no evidence that Tipton tampered with the computers, and argued that any charges related to the old jackpots should be barred by the three-year statute of limitations. Tipton has filed a motion to dismiss the case, saying the additional jackpots were only recently uncovered.