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Iowa Lottery threatens to deny jackpot payout if winner stays anonymous

Hot LottoHot Lotto: Iowa Lottery threatens to deny jackpot payout if winner stays anonymous
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Unprecidented move by lottery may include criminal investigation

Includes video report

By Todd Northrop

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa Lottery officials have set a 3 p.m. Friday deadline for the mystery winner of a multi-million dollar Hot Lotto jackpot to reveal themselves or their claim on the prize will be denied.

Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich talks about the Friday deadline for an unclaimed Hot Lotto jackpot during a press conference Monday afternoon. (Rodney White/The Register)

The mysterious winner or winners remain hidden behind Hexam Investments Trust represented by 76-year-old Crawford Shaw, an attorney from Bedford, N.Y.

The ticket, worth as much as $14.2 million, was sold Dec. 23, 2010, at a northeast Des Moines convenience store. The winning numbers hit six days later, but the jackpot went unclaimed for nearly a year.

Des Moines attorneys representing Shaw and the trust showed up at lottery headquarters less than 2 hours before the ticket was to expire last month.

Shaw met for about 90 minutes with Iowa Lottery officials last week but did not disclose the person or persons behind the trust.

Lottery officials sent a letter to the trust's lawyer who signed the ticket, Crawford Shaw, saying "To recommend payment of this jackpot, the security division of the lottery needs to have the following information:

"1. A timeline containing the name of the individuals who was in the Quick Trip on Northeast 14th Street in Des Moines, Iowa, purchasing the ticket and the names of all subsequent individuals who have either owned or possessed the Hot Lotto ticket that was purchased on December 23, 2010 and contained the winning jackpot numbers for the Hot Lotto drawing held on December 29, 2010."

"2. The birthdates, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of these people. We request you provide us with the information by 3:00 p.m. CST on this Friday, January 26, 2012. You may mail the information to the lottery at 23232 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312, fax or e-mail the documents so long as they are received at the lottery on or before this Friday ... at 3:00 p.m. CST."

"This is the first time the lottery has experienced a situation like this in its 26-year history, and we will continue to work, understanding that the security and integrity of the Iowa Lottery and its games cannot be compromised," Lottery CEO Terry Rich said.

Investigators also said they are considering whether to launch a criminal probe in the case.

Lottery officials said the Division of Criminal Investigation's gaming bureau and Iowa Attorney General's Office are assisting in the investigation.

Eric Tabor of the Iowa Attorney General's Office told local media that the AG's role in the Hot Lotto investigation is to give advice on the law.  The DCI plans to review information related to the winning Hot Lotto ticket and ask, "has there been a crime committed or a crime attempted to be committed?"

Iowa law requires a person sign for the winnings and their address be disclosed. The winner does not have to make a statement or public appearance.

Trust's lawyer has checkered past

Rich said Shaw's history, which includes lawsuits alleging fraud in Delaware and Texas, could be unrelated to the Iowa lottery ticket, but investigators were looking into it.

Records show Shaw played at least a minor role in the collapse of Industrial Enterprises of America, a chemical company that was looted and bankrupted in 2009 by a stock manipulation scheme. Shaw helped found the company after taking control of a Houston-based shell corporation, serving as its CEO from 2004 to 2005.

Shaw told investors the company's stock was "grossly undervalued" in 2005 and promised revenue was skyrocketing, corporate filings show. But he abruptly stepped down in October 2005, and was replaced by the company's chief financial officer, John Mazzuto.

Mazzuto pleaded guilty last year to grand larceny and other charges for plundering the company. Prosecutors say he and another company executive, James Margulies, issued millions of shares of a type of stock that can legally be given only to employees as part of a benefit plan, and funneled the stock to themselves, relatives and associates. The stock was sold, and the money was channeled back to Mazzuto and Margulies. They improperly recorded it as revenue, which boosted the company's books, inflated its stock price and lured investors.

A lawsuit filed in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware alleges Shaw was compensated with $2.3 million worth of the improper shares and is seeking to recoup that money. Investors, which included an Ohio teachers' pension fund and the Methodist Church, lost more than $100 million when the company collapsed.

In 2009, Texas doctor Howard Nunn filed a lawsuit saying Shaw refused to issue him $25,000 worth of shares of Industrial Enterprises he bought in 2005. Shaw eventually agreed to refund his money but only paid back $5,000, the lawsuit claimed.

Shaw agreed to pay Nunn $25,000 last March to avoid trial, but records show he has since refused to satisfy the judgment or respond to questions about his financial assets after claiming he doesn't have enough to pay. A judge in September sanctioned him $750.

"He has made some representations to my client that he intends to pay the judgment. It's premised on something happening — we don't know what — and him suddenly having money to pay," said Nunn's lawyer, Ty Chapman. "I believe he told my client it didn't have anything to do with the Iowa Lottery deal."

Chapman said he tried to serve Shaw numerous times with court orders at the Bedford, N.Y., address where relatives say he lives and has been unsuccessful. Shaw gave Lottery investigators a Texas driver's license when he met with them last week, and Rich said the agency didn't know his whereabouts.

The questions about Shaw are no surprise to Florida interior designer Elizabeth Calomiris, Mazzuto's ex-wife. She said she knew Shaw when she was married to Mazzuto. After Shaw left Industrial Enterprises, she said Shaw begged her to give him damaging personal and business information she had on her ex-husband and came to her home to get it.

She said Shaw used the information as leverage to obtain a settlement in which he was paid the $2.3 million in company shares, and she now regrets helping him.

"Crawford Shaw, he's just as crooked as can be. I wouldn't trust anything that he's said," Calomiris said. "He lied to me a lot. He'll say anything to get what he wants."

http://media.lpimg.com/2012012301.mp4

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time*treat's avatar - radar

United States
Member #13130
March 30, 2005
2171 Posts
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Posted: January 23, 2012, 10:32 pm - IP Logged

Unprecidented move by lottery may include criminal investigation

Includes video report

By Todd Northrop

Iowa Lottery officials have set a 3 p.m. Friday deadline for the mystery winner of a multi-million dollar Hot Lotto jackpot to reveal themselves or their claim on the prize will be denied.

Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich talks about the Friday deadline for an unclaimed Hot Lotto jackpot during a press conference Monday afternoon. (Rodney White/The Register)

The mysterious winner or winners remain hidden behind Hexam Investments Trust represented by 76-year-old Crawford Shaw, an attorney from Bedford, N.Y.

The ticket, worth as much as $14.2 million, was sold Dec. 23, 2010, at a northeast Des Moines convenience store. The winning numbers hit six days later, but the jackpot went unclaimed for nearly a year.

Des Moines attorneys representing Shaw and the trust showed up at lottery headquarters less than 2 hours before the ticket was to expire last month.

Shaw met for about 90 minutes with Iowa Lottery officials last week but did not disclose the person or persons behind the trust.

Lottery officials sent a letter to the trust's lawyer who signed the ticket, Crawford Shaw, saying "To recommend payment of this jackpot, the security division of the lottery needs to have the following information:

"1. A timeline containing the name of the individuals who was in the Quick Trip on Northeast 14th Street in Des Moines, Iowa, purchasing the ticket and the names of all subsequent individuals who have either owned or possessed the Hot Lotto ticket that was purchased on December 23, 2010 and contained the winning jackpot numbers for the Hot Lotto drawing held on December 29, 2010."

"2. The birthdates, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of these people. We request you provide us with the information by 3:00 p.m. CST on this Friday, January 26, 2012. You may mail the information to the lottery at 23232 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312, fax or e-mail the documents so long as they are received at the lottery on or before this Friday ... at 3:00 p.m. CST."

"This is the first time the lottery has experienced a situation like this in its 26-year history, and we will continue to work, understanding that the security and integrity of the Iowa Lottery and its games cannot be compromised," Lottery CEO Terry Rich said.

Investigators also said they are considering whether to launch a criminal probe in the case.

Lottery officials said the Division of Criminal Investigation's gaming bureau and Iowa Attorney General's Office are assisting in the investigation.

Eric Tabor of the Iowa Attorney General's Office told local media that the AG's role in the Hot Lotto investigation is to give advice on the law.  The DCI plans to review information related to the winning Hot Lotto ticket and ask, "has there been a crime committed or a crime attempted to be committed?"

Iowa law requires a person sign for the winnings and their address be disclosed. The winner does not have to make a statement or public appearance.

Trust's lawyer has checkered past

Rich said Shaw's history, which includes lawsuits alleging fraud in Delaware and Texas, could be unrelated to the Iowa lottery ticket, but investigators were looking into it.

Records show Shaw played at least a minor role in the collapse of Industrial Enterprises of America, a chemical company that was looted and bankrupted in 2009 by a stock manipulation scheme. Shaw helped found the company after taking control of a Houston-based shell corporation, serving as its CEO from 2004 to 2005.

Shaw told investors the company's stock was "grossly undervalued" in 2005 and promised revenue was skyrocketing, corporate filings show. But he abruptly stepped down in October 2005, and was replaced by the company's chief financial officer, John Mazzuto.

Mazzuto pleaded guilty last year to grand larceny and other charges for plundering the company. Prosecutors say he and another company executive, James Margulies, issued millions of shares of a type of stock that can legally be given only to employees as part of a benefit plan, and funneled the stock to themselves, relatives and associates. The stock was sold, and the money was channeled back to Mazzuto and Margulies. They improperly recorded it as revenue, which boosted the company's books, inflated its stock price and lured investors.

A lawsuit filed in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware alleges Shaw was compensated with $2.3 million worth of the improper shares and is seeking to recoup that money. Investors, which included an Ohio teachers' pension fund and the Methodist Church, lost more than $100 million when the company collapsed.

In 2009, Texas doctor Howard Nunn filed a lawsuit saying Shaw refused to issue him $25,000 worth of shares of Industrial Enterprises he bought in 2005. Shaw eventually agreed to refund his money but only paid back $5,000, the lawsuit claimed.

Shaw agreed to pay Nunn $25,000 last March to avoid trial, but records show he has since refused to satisfy the judgment or respond to questions about his financial assets after claiming he doesn't have enough to pay. A judge in September sanctioned him $750.

"He has made some representations to my client that he intends to pay the judgment. It's premised on something happening — we don't know what — and him suddenly having money to pay," said Nunn's lawyer, Ty Chapman. "I believe he told my client it didn't have anything to do with the Iowa Lottery deal."

Chapman said he tried to serve Shaw numerous times with court orders at the Bedford, N.Y., address where relatives say he lives and has been unsuccessful. Shaw gave Lottery investigators a Texas driver's license when he met with them last week, and Rich said the agency didn't know his whereabouts.

The questions about Shaw are no surprise to Florida interior designer Elizabeth Calomiris, Mazzuto's ex-wife. She said she knew Shaw when she was married to Mazzuto. After Shaw left Industrial Enterprises, she said Shaw begged her to give him damaging personal and business information she had on her ex-husband and came to her home to get it.

She said Shaw used the information as leverage to obtain a settlement in which he was paid the $2.3 million in company shares, and she now regrets helping him.

"Crawford Shaw, he's just as crooked as can be. I wouldn't trust anything that he's said," Calomiris said. "He lied to me a lot. He'll say anything to get what he wants."

http://media.lpimg.com/2012012301.mp4

The questions about Shaw are no surprise to Florida interior designer Elizabeth Calomiris, Mazzuto's ex-wife. She said she knew Shaw when she was married to Mazzuto. After Shaw left Industrial Enterprises, she said Shaw begged her to give him damaging personal and business information she had on her ex-husband and came to her home to get it.

She said Shaw used the information as leverage to obtain a settlement in which he was paid the $2.3 million in company shares, and she now regrets helping him.

"Crawford Shaw, he's just as crooked as can be. I wouldn't trust anything that he's said," Calomiris said. "He lied to me a lot. He'll say anything to get what he wants."

So, the ex-wife provides damaging info against her former husband and then disparages the character of the person she provided the info to. Crazy

In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

    s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
    Hard Luck, Ak
    United States
    Member #23472
    October 13, 2005
    254 Posts
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    Posted: January 23, 2012, 10:34 pm - IP Logged

    INCREDIBLE! If it was my lawyer the guy would have been fired weeks ago. I have a feeling that he is hiding something or maybe he is the owner of the ticket and promised to cut some "friends" in on the loot if he was able to form a trust. He knew it would make news if he claimed the jackpot and any money that was owed would be seized.  It's going to be interesting to see how this all turns out!

                                                                            Argue

    "We make a living by what you get, You make a LIFE by what you give!"

                                                                   Sir Winston ChurchillSun Smiley

      larry3100's avatar - larry icon2.jpg
      Redwood City,California
      United States
      Member #70503
      February 3, 2009
      162 Posts
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      Posted: January 23, 2012, 11:10 pm - IP Logged

      The person who bought that winning Iowa lottery ticket did not sign the back of that ticket.There should be a new rule in the state lotteries that would state on the back of winning tickets "All winning lottery tickets must be signed by the winner and address  be stated ". They would still be eligible for a trust.Let's hope it turns out not to be another "Abraham Shakespeare" type story.


        United States
        Member #121678
        January 14, 2012
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        Posted: January 24, 2012, 12:11 am - IP Logged

        Maybe Mr Shaw is the owner or one of the owners of the ticket, but I wonder if it is a quick pick or not and how and or from who he got the ticket, I think that lottery winners have a right to privacy, but the state lottery also needs to know all of the info that they are asking for, but there should be a law that allows the state lottery to keep that info secret so that it is not made public as lottery winners should have a right to their privacy.


          United States
          Member #120262
          December 14, 2011
          26 Posts
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          Posted: January 24, 2012, 12:44 am - IP Logged

          The person who bought that winning Iowa lottery ticket did not sign the back of that ticket.There should be a new rule in the state lotteries that would state on the back of winning tickets "All winning lottery tickets must be signed by the winner and address  be stated ". They would still be eligible for a trust.Let's hope it turns out not to be another "Abraham Shakespeare" type story.

          Something is a little fuzzy here 2. I think the ticket was stolen from its real winner.

            Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
            Indiana
            United States
            Member #48725
            January 7, 2007
            1841 Posts
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            Posted: January 24, 2012, 5:15 am - IP Logged

            Maybe Mr Shaw is the owner or one of the owners of the ticket, but I wonder if it is a quick pick or not and how and or from who he got the ticket, I think that lottery winners have a right to privacy, but the state lottery also needs to know all of the info that they are asking for, but there should be a law that allows the state lottery to keep that info secret so that it is not made public as lottery winners should have a right to their privacy.

            I don't think it was a quick pick. If you look at the ticket at 0:58 in the video, it shows 2 lines, the first 3 are the same, and the hotball is the same. Also, neither of the lines have "QP" next to them. It's very possible this ticket was stolen and the thief waited until the last second to claim through a trust so that the real winner wouldn't be aware of what happened.

            Gonna win.Big Smile

              Avatar

              United States
              Member #94618
              July 24, 2010
              4719 Posts
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              Posted: January 24, 2012, 5:21 am - IP Logged

              This is not going to end well for Shaw.  This is 'fake/forgery/stolen' written ALL over it.. No No

                Avatar
                Orlando, FL
                United States
                Member #115789
                August 28, 2011
                259 Posts
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                Posted: January 24, 2012, 7:24 am - IP Logged

                Scared

                  LottoGuyBC's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                  British Columbia
                  Canada
                  Member #116105
                  September 4, 2011
                  3638 Posts
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                  Posted: January 24, 2012, 7:46 am - IP Logged

                  "You have to be in it to win it!"


                    United States
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                    May 25, 2011
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                    Posted: January 24, 2012, 8:22 am - IP Logged

                    Ahhhhhh..........miss those old Monopoly games. I still have my get out of jail free card. Wonder if Shaw still has his.  What?     LOL

                      ttech10's avatar - blobdude
                      Texas
                      United States
                      Member #92332
                      June 5, 2010
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                      Posted: January 24, 2012, 8:56 am - IP Logged

                      I don't think it was a quick pick. If you look at the ticket at 0:58 in the video, it shows 2 lines, the first 3 are the same, and the hotball is the same. Also, neither of the lines have "QP" next to them. It's very possible this ticket was stolen and the thief waited until the last second to claim through a trust so that the real winner wouldn't be aware of what happened.

                      waited until the last second to claim through a trust so that the real winner wouldn't be aware of what happened.

                      That last bit just doesn't make sense to me, though. I would think any person with a working brain would realize that someone turning a winning jackpot ticket in only hours before it expires (a YEAR after it won) would be noticed by quite a few media outlets. Of course we are talking about criminal minds here, so not usually the brightest.

                      I was under the assumption that even when you claimed via a trust that the lottery would take your information, just keep it private.

                        mayhem's avatar - 142g5yd
                        Fort Worth, TX
                        United States
                        Member #106064
                        February 11, 2011
                        188 Posts
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                        Posted: January 24, 2012, 10:49 am - IP Logged

                        waited until the last second to claim through a trust so that the real winner wouldn't be aware of what happened.

                        That last bit just doesn't make sense to me, though. I would think any person with a working brain would realize that someone turning a winning jackpot ticket in only hours before it expires (a YEAR after it won) would be noticed by quite a few media outlets. Of course we are talking about criminal minds here, so not usually the brightest.

                        I was under the assumption that even when you claimed via a trust that the lottery would take your information, just keep it private.

                        Correct. Stolen or not. It would have been kept private and nobody would be the wiser. There is still no advantage to waiting till the last minute though. At least I can't think of any reason.

                        How you do anything is how you do everything.

                          Avatar
                          Las Vegas
                          United States
                          Member #119217
                          November 17, 2011
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                          Posted: January 24, 2012, 12:59 pm - IP Logged

                          Correct. Stolen or not. It would have been kept private and nobody would be the wiser. There is still no advantage to waiting till the last minute though. At least I can't think of any reason.

                          Waiting to the last minute would draw the greatest attention and was a dumb move.  The best way to reduce the attention would be to wait 2 or 3 months and claim the day after a really large jackpot winner came forward when all the media attention would be on the $200 million winner. 

                          Also, if I am reading correctly, the lottery officials are claiming that the winner's name and city is required to be released by Iowa law.  It does not matter if it is claimed by a trust.  The name of the individual or indivduals and the city must be released.  That is correct in some states, but wish it would be changed.  We all see the dangers that arise with publicity.

                            RedStang's avatar - mustangshow zps61f7119e.jpg
                            Dutchess NY
                            United States
                            Member #121966
                            January 21, 2012
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                            Posted: January 24, 2012, 2:24 pm - IP Logged

                            After hearing they might not pay, you would think the real winner would show up. Makes me sickDead to see it could go unclaimed.