Former security official convicted in Iowa lottery fraud trial

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 20, 2015 2:58 PM

By Kay Henderson

DES MOINES (Reuters) - An Iowa jury on Monday convicted a former multi-state lottery association official of fraud in a case where prosecutors said he rigged a Hot Lotto game drawing to win a $14.3 million prize.

Eddie Tipton, 52, of Norwalk, Iowa, could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison on his conviction for two counts of fraud. Tipton's attorney, Dean Stowers, said he would appeal.

The case focused on a video of a man in a hooded sweatshirt who bought the winning ticket in the December 2010 drawing at a Des Moines-area convenience store.

Tipton's co-workers testified that the man in the video looked and sounded like him, while Tipton's family said he was larger than the man in the video. Lottery employees are barred from playing by law.

The prize went unclaimed until less than two hours before its expiration a year later, when lawyers presented the winning ticket on behalf of a New York investment trust set up to benefit a Belize-organized corporation, the lottery said.

The lawyers did not provide details needed to verify the ticket was bought legally, the claim was withdrawn in January 2012 and a criminal investigation was opened, the lottery said.

Tipton is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 9.

(Reporting by Kay Henderson; Writing by David Bailey; Editing by Bernard Orr)