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Indiana lottery rigger faces 50-year penalty

Indiana LotteryIndiana Lottery: Indiana lottery rigger faces 50-year penalty

William C. Foreman could spend 50 years in state prison if he's convicted of stealing secrets from the Hoosier Lottery in an effort to rig a million-dollar scratch-off game.

But the former lottery security official's trial has been delayed so he can challenge the constitutionality of the nation's harshest penalty for breaching lottery security.

The state's top lottery official, Esther Q. Schneider, favors the stiff penalty to deter inside jobs that threaten public confidence in the Hoosier Lottery, which has been a cash cow for state government since 1989, generating nearly $10 billion in sales.

"They need to go for the throat," Schneider said.

Former Hoosier Lottery Director Jack Crawford says reaching for the throat goes too far when it comes to Indiana's law prohibiting disclosure of confidential lottery records for financial gain.

Crawford is the Indianapolis defense attorney representing Foreman, 60, a retired Indianapolis Police Department sergeant who resigned from the lottery in 2004 amid a criminal investigation.

"The law has to make sense, and this one doesn't," Crawford said. "Some forms of rape, child molesting and armed robbery are considered lesser offenses."

He has filed a motion in Marion Superior Court to dismiss the felony charge. Foreman is scheduled to go to trial March 20.

Marion Superior Court Judge Grant W. Hawkins has not yet ruled.

The Indiana attorney general's office and the Marion County prosecutor's office are opposing Crawford's effort to invalidate the law.

"The General Assembly has said this is so serious it needs to be an A felony," Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said. "If the public loses confidence in the lottery, there will be no lottery."  [Editor: Using the same logic, why don't they get rid of the computerized drawings?]

Nonetheless, Brizzi acknowledged even he was surprised to find the penalty was so severe when Foreman was charged in November 2004.

The game at issue is the continuing "$2,000,000 Bonus Spectacular," in which million-dollar scratch-off winners get a shot at another million-dollar prize at the end of the game. Tickets began selling for $20 each in January 2004, and the Hoosier Lottery says two million-dollar winning tickets have yet to be claimed.

In their brief to the court, Deputy Prosecutor Rom Byron and Deputy Attorney General Chad C. Duran say Foreman was a trusted lottery employee whose duties included monitoring Scientific Games, the Atlanta company that printed Indiana's lottery tickets.

Prosecutors say Foreman used his inside knowledge to direct two accomplices to a store in Cross Plains that had a winning ticket. There, they bought all of the tickets.

They have agreed to plead guilty and testify against Foreman, who Crawford says made "not a dime" from the alleged ticket scam.

The 20 to 50 years in prison Foreman faces is considerably more than the two to eight years a defendant in Indiana could expect if convicted of any other financial crime.

Crawford argues that, with the exception of unlawfully disclosing confidential lottery information, 50-year prison terms have been exclusively reserved in Indiana for the most violent crimes or serious drug crimes.

"While the lottery might be very important to the economic well-being of the citizens of Indiana, a violation of its rules or a scheme to defraud this institution cannot be compared equally with crimes such as attempted murder, kidnapping, child molesting and rape," Crawford told the court in a motion to dismiss.

For these reasons, Crawford, who was the first lottery director in 1989 under then-Gov. Evan Bayh, said the state law Foreman is accused of breaking violates both the U.S. and Indiana constitutions.

"There is simply no rational justification to punish Mr. Foreman up to five times greater for disclosing confidential lottery information than if he had stolen $1 billion from the citizens of Indiana from a different state agency," Crawford stated in his motion to dismiss.

Schneider, the Hoosier Lottery's executive director, said the lottery relies upon voluntary purchases and thus is more dependent on public support than other state agencies.

"We have to make sure the public knows the lottery games are fair, secure and fun," she said. "To think that somebody could rig a million-dollar scratch-off game is unacceptable."

About the case

A former lottery official, William C. Foreman, is accused of disclosing the location of a winning lottery ticket in a $2 million scratch-off game.

Two Shelby County men, Chad R. Adkins and Daniel J. Foltz, claimed the $1 million prize in September 2004 after at least one of them had bought all of the tickets in the store where the winner was located.

How it happened

A trucker called in and said he thought he had a winning ticket in the $2 million game but had lost it. He also couldn't remember at which of about 40 stores he might have bought it. The lottery's security director told a lottery investigator to look into the claims.

That investigator obtained locations of the winning tickets from the lottery's ticket maker, Scientific Games, to see whether any of the stores the trucker listed had had the winning ticket. The trucker wasn't a winner. But Foreman allegedly gained access to the locations of winning tickets and told Adkins and Foltz where to find one.

Status of the case

Foreman is scheduled to go on trial March 20. Adkins and Foltz have agreed to plead guilty to theft and pay back the money in exchange for their testimony against Foreman. Adkins and Foltz are scheduled to plead guilty and be sentenced April 11.

Comparable penalties

In Indiana, the following crimes carry the same maximum 50-year prison term as unlawful disclosure of confidential lottery information:

  • Attempted murder.
  • Kidnapping.
  • Child molesting of a victim younger than 14.
  • Arson with bodily injury.
  • Dealing in controlled substances to a person younger than 18 or within 1,000 feet of a public park, school, housing authority or youth complex.

Indiana's penalty is most severe in nation

Thirty-nine states have lotteries, but only Indiana has a penalty of up to 50 years in prison for defrauding, stealing from or trying to steal from a lottery.

A sampling of state penalties:

  • Florida: Up to 30 years.
  • Nebraska: One to 25 years.
  • Louisiana: Five to 20 years.
  • Washington and West Virginia: Up to 10 years.
  • Arizona, Idaho, Pennsylvania and South Carolina: Up to five years.
  • Kansas: Termination of employment for disclosure of confidential information.

Source: "Memorandum of Law" filed by William C. Foreman's attorney, Jack Crawford, in Foreman's Marion Superior Court case

Indianapolis Star

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26 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by CASH Only.
Page 1 of 2

United States
Member #379
June 5, 2002
11296 Posts
Offline
Posted: January 30, 2006, 9:36 am - IP Logged

Whoever made up the rule for the scratch game to be annuity-only should get 50 years (not of payments).

    Avatar
    Northern California
    United States
    Member #19948
    August 9, 2005
    151 Posts
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    Posted: January 30, 2006, 11:27 am - IP Logged

    Wow - I just watched a show on The Discovery Channel the other day - it said that no one from Scientific Games ever knows where a specific winning ticket (or prize value)  is.

     

    I guess that wasn't true?

     

    I'm very surprised that this could happen - but not surprised that a lotttery security official was part of it.  Lottery security departments, like everyone else, hire human beings.  Where you have human beings and the means to commit crime, its going to happen.

      Avatar
      Coastal Georgia
      United States
      Member #2653
      October 30, 2003
      1866 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: January 30, 2006, 11:32 am - IP Logged

      "The General Assembly has said this is so serious it needs to be an A felony," Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said. "If the public loses confidence in the lottery, there will be no lottery."  [Editor: Using the same logic, why don't they get rid of the computerized drawings?]

      But at the same time, the lottery KNOWS where the winning tickets are being sent ?

       

                                     

                    

       

       

        gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
        ONEONTA,NEW YORK
        United States
        Member #30516
        January 17, 2006
        419 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: January 30, 2006, 11:37 am - IP Logged

        dont do the crime if you can't do the time....sounds like something from a tv show in the 70's

          gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
          ONEONTA,NEW YORK
          United States
          Member #30516
          January 17, 2006
          419 Posts
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          Posted: January 30, 2006, 11:43 am - IP Logged

          if you can't trust the lotto personal people what do you do with the lotto games.

            gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
            ONEONTA,NEW YORK
            United States
            Member #30516
            January 17, 2006
            419 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: January 30, 2006, 11:44 am - IP Logged

            computerize lotto stinks and now the lotto personal are starting the stink also?

              Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
              Chief Bottle Washer
              New Jersey
              United States
              Member #1
              May 31, 2000
              23274 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: January 30, 2006, 11:44 am - IP Logged

              if you can't trust the lotto personal people what do you do with the lotto games.

              That's why this is so devastating.  The Hoosier Lottery would go a long way with the credibility of their games if they would dump the computerized drawings.  It may help people forget this regrettable incident.

               

              Check the State Lottery Report Card
              What grade did your lottery earn?

               

              Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
              Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
                ONEONTA,NEW YORK
                United States
                Member #30516
                January 17, 2006
                419 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: January 30, 2006, 11:45 am - IP Logged

                its all about money money money

                  LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                  Tennessee
                  United States
                  Member #7853
                  October 15, 2004
                  11338 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: January 30, 2006, 4:23 pm - IP Logged

                  its all about money money money

                  they would cheat a poor,blind,deaf woman..those indiana lottery officials would go door to door if they could......

                    psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

                    United States
                    Member #4877
                    May 30, 2004
                    5124 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: January 30, 2006, 4:53 pm - IP Logged

                    its all about money money money

                    So, why should we have any laws (in the first place)........KAN'T we trust our

                    appointed and elected deleaders to be honest and look-out for the..... little people,

                    they're all wanting to "help us out" or so they say therefore, we better

                    listen when they speak, even, former Hoosier Lottery Director, "Old".... Jack

                    agrees with me.....so trust them, "YOU HEAR" they're L@@k'n out for you!

                    LOL $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

                    PSYKOMO

                     

                     

                      Avatar
                      Sparta, NJ
                      United States
                      Member #18331
                      July 9, 2005
                      1977 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: January 30, 2006, 6:06 pm - IP Logged

                      50 YEARS!  Wow !  If integrity was a criteria, what would Kennedy and Kerry do for a living? Oh yeah, they got rich off of other people.

                      Cheers

                      |||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

                      I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

                        JAP69's avatar - alas
                        South Carolina
                        United States
                        Member #6
                        November 4, 2001
                        8790 Posts
                        Online
                        Posted: January 30, 2006, 6:46 pm - IP Logged


                        50 years in prison would keep any lottery employee from rating or testifying if the computerized games are rigged.
                        Just like the mob days. rubem out

                        MAGA

                          gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
                          ONEONTA,NEW YORK
                          United States
                          Member #30516
                          January 17, 2006
                          419 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: January 30, 2006, 9:38 pm - IP Logged

                          if bill foreman gets away with this,i'm sure others will try it also.do you think this is foremans first time doing this

                            Avatar
                            New Member
                            Tennessee
                            United States
                            Member #3596
                            February 3, 2004
                            13 Posts
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                            Posted: January 30, 2006, 10:11 pm - IP Logged

                            I bet that some people lost their jobs at Scientific Games as well.  I doubt that they should have even given this information out.