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Inquiry in Iowa Lottery mystery touches Canada

Hot LottoHot Lotto: Inquiry in Iowa Lottery mystery touches Canada
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Investigators seeking to unravel an attempted multimillion-dollar Iowa Lottery jackpot scheme have been in contact with Canadian authorities and are looking into people who may have been involved, an agent said Thursday.

Special Agent in Charge Patrick Townsend of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation confirmed his agency sought assistance from Canadian law enforcement early in the 18-month investigation into a withdrawn claim for a $14.3 million Hot Lotto jackpot.

(See $14.3 million Hot Lotto prize claim withdrawn, Lottery Post, Jan. 27, 2012.)

He said the case has taken a positive turn in recent months, and investigators are working leads that could provide answers in a mystery that has captured worldwide attention.

"We have people of interest that we are working on and looking into," Townsend said, declining to elaborate on how many or to release their identities. "There are opportunities for us to follow up with and hopefully they take us down some roads that actually go somewhere."

In December 2011, a 77-year-old New York lawyer Crawford Shaw waited until minutes before a one-year deadline to turn in a winning Hot Lotto ticket. Shaw signed the ticket on behalf of a newly created trust, claiming he was its sole trustee. The ticket was confirmed as valid.

Shaw later said that he was representing an attorney for a person who purchased the ticket and wished to remain anonymous, and that he did not know the winner's name. He said the trust's proceeds would go to a corporation in Belize, a known tax haven.

Lottery officials refused to pay the jackpot until Shaw gave them the names of everyone who had possessed the ticket in the year after it was purchased at a Des Moines gas station. They wanted to know that the ticket had been legally purchased and possessed. Shaw refused and offered to give the jackpot to charity before eventually withdrawing the claim in January 2012, walking away from millions. DCI then launched an investigation.

DCI has declined to release surveillance footage from the gas station that shows the person purchasing the winning ticket, which Townsend said remains a crucial piece of evidence.

Townsend said the contact with Canadian authorities was for "purposes of the investigation" and declined to elaborate. He said investigators working under his supervision have not done any foreign travel "at this point." Foreign citizens are eligible to win the Lottery.

Shaw, a Yale graduate who has been accused of fraud in business dealings, has recently changed his cellphone number. Townsend said agents have "had attempted contact with Crawford Shaw" but declined to elaborate. Lawyers who have sued Shaw have said they have found it difficult to find him.

Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer said Thursday the agency was encouraged that new leads are being followed in the case, which she called "quite complicated." The agency declined a public records request seeking information about the possible Canadian link and other documents, citing the ongoing criminal investigation.

"No one wants to know what truly occurred in this matter more than us here at the Iowa Lottery. It was our product involved and the actions of others thrust us into the middle of a very unusual and very strange situation," she said. "We want the criminal investigation to continue unimpeded in the hope that we all will one day know the whole story."

AP

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20 comments. Last comment 8 months ago by jamella724.
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RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
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Posted: July 26, 2013, 2:06 pm - IP Logged

I've followed this case for a while and I still don't know what scheme they are talking about.  If buying and claiming winning tickets in certain ways are considered illegal schemes then they should spell them out in the rules so players don't waste time and money buying tickets they can't collect on.

* Thoses who can, do * 
* thoses who can't, just talk *
Roll Eyes 

    Jon D's avatar - calotterylogo
    Los Angeles, California
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    Posted: July 26, 2013, 3:06 pm - IP Logged

    I've followed this case for a while and I still don't know what scheme they are talking about.  If buying and claiming winning tickets in certain ways are considered illegal schemes then they should spell them out in the rules so players don't waste time and money buying tickets they can't collect on.

    I for one am curious to know what really happened. This isn't just a run of the mil claim, it was highly suspicious. Here's a few possibilities:

    1. Ticket was taken from original purchaser, who now sleeps with the fishes.

    2. Ticket is a duplicate, printed by a lottery employee with the same codes as the winning ticket, thus the need to wait until the final hours to make sure the *real* ticket did not appear.

    3. Winner has a large multi-million civil judgement against them and wants to hide the loot from the courts. OJ Simpson is the winner? Wink

      dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
      Oklahoma
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      Posted: July 26, 2013, 6:57 pm - IP Logged

      Wow this is crazy drama Lurkingif they have the videitchy dont they release it What?

      Win BIG everyone....White Bounce

      I Love Pink & Green 1908

        sully16's avatar - sharan
        Listens to the wind

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        Posted: July 26, 2013, 10:28 pm - IP Logged

        I've followed this case for a while and I still don't know what scheme they are talking about.  If buying and claiming winning tickets in certain ways are considered illegal schemes then they should spell them out in the rules so players don't waste time and money buying tickets they can't collect on.

        Yep, this is a strange one.

        There's only one US Flag

          rdgrnr's avatar - walt
          -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
          Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
          United States
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          Posted: July 27, 2013, 12:41 am - IP Logged

          Inside job.

          Ubetcha.

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            frontenac, kansas
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            Posted: July 27, 2013, 12:07 pm - IP Logged

            Inside job.

            Ubetcha.

            I am like you ridge....inside job......

             

            Even if it was someone wanted by the law I am sure they could find a friend , relative or a patsie somewhere to turn it in.

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              Keokuk,Iowa
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              Posted: July 27, 2013, 2:37 pm - IP Logged

              I am like you ridge....inside job......

               

              Even if it was someone wanted by the law I am sure they could find a friend , relative or a patsie somewhere to turn it in.

              I Agree!Wink

                mypiemaster's avatar - peace
                He who dies with the most toys WINS!!!.

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                Posted: July 27, 2013, 3:19 pm - IP Logged

                Agree with stupid If it quacks like a duck.................? Really strange.

                  LottoGuyBC's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
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                  Posted: July 28, 2013, 6:45 am - IP Logged

                  Interesting Lurking

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

                    Artist77's avatar - batman14

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                    Posted: July 28, 2013, 8:10 am - IP Logged

                    I am like you ridge....inside job......

                     

                    Even if it was someone wanted by the law I am sure they could find a friend , relative or a patsie somewhere to turn it in.

                    Inside job?  Meaning a lottery retailer was involved or a lottery employee?

                    Just as the bird sings or the butterfly soars,

                    because it is his natural characteristic,

                    so the artist works.

                    by Alma  Gluck

                      Avatar

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                      Posted: July 28, 2013, 12:25 pm - IP Logged

                      I for one am curious to know what really happened. This isn't just a run of the mil claim, it was highly suspicious. Here's a few possibilities:

                      1. Ticket was taken from original purchaser, who now sleeps with the fishes.

                      2. Ticket is a duplicate, printed by a lottery employee with the same codes as the winning ticket, thus the need to wait until the final hours to make sure the *real* ticket did not appear.

                      3. Winner has a large multi-million civil judgement against them and wants to hide the loot from the courts. OJ Simpson is the winner? Wink

                      GREAT points!  I hope it is something like what you listed, if its not and they just want to know WHO the owner is and that person just didn't want anyone to know - well that is an expensive cost to pay for privacy.  Give up on the money just so no one knows - hummm.

                        Goteki54's avatar - Lottery-007.jpg
                        Baltimore, MD
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                        Posted: July 28, 2013, 12:52 pm - IP Logged

                        For $!4 million dollars, I'll tell them everything they want to know and I'll even make up some stuff if they like!!

                        Let's compare privacy vs receiving $14 million dollars, hmmmm, it sounds like a no brainer!!

                        Wheel Profits Unlimited!!Thumbs Up

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                          Posted: July 28, 2013, 2:36 pm - IP Logged

                          For $!4 million dollars, I'll tell them everything they want to know and I'll even make up some stuff if they like!!

                          Let's compare privacy vs receiving $14 million dollars, hmmmm, it sounds like a no brainer!!

                          I am with you on that... I Agree!

                            RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
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                            Posted: July 29, 2013, 6:39 am - IP Logged

                            For $!4 million dollars, I'll tell them everything they want to know and I'll even make up some stuff if they like!!

                            Let's compare privacy vs receiving $14 million dollars, hmmmm, it sounds like a no brainer!!

                            Apparently the lawyer and his clients felt telling them everything they wanted to know would not result in them getting their money and only expose information they wanted kept private.

                            * Thoses who can, do * 
                            * thoses who can't, just talk *
                            Roll Eyes