A White Rock, British Columbia, man who pleaded guilty to being involved in a direct-mail lottery scheme that brought in $47 million has been fined $225,000.
Tom Taylor, 60, participated in selling shares of lottery tickets to thousands of residents in the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand who sent in money for a share over a seven-year period ending in 2002.
In addition to the fine, Mr. Taylor, who was charged under lottery and gaming provisions in the Criminal Code, must perform 100 hours of community service.
Part of that community service will be talking to seniors about how to avoid being scammed by marketers, said Don Mercer, assistant deputy commissioner for the Competition Bureau of Canada's Pacific Region.
Operating under the names Canadian Lottery Buyers Association, International Monetary Funding, International Lottery Commission and Transworld Lottery Commission, victims were targeted and misled into believing that the promotions were affiliated with the government. In reality, they would have been better off purchasing lottery tickets directly from authorized vendors.
The victims will not be receiving any money back. Mr. Taylor pleaded guilty Nov. 15 in Surrey Provincial Court and was sentenced yesterday.
Mr. Taylor's company, Ravenshoe Services Ltd., was ordered to pay a fine of $1. Mr. Mercer said yesterday the relatively small fines compared to the monies scammed were the result of the judge's findings of what could be retrieved.
"We know that Mr. Taylor only got a fraction of the $50 million and the court said his company should have been given a $775,000 fine but there was no assets with the company."
Mr. Taylor, who is also banned from future lottery schemes, put up security through his mortgage to pay the fine over a three-year period, beginning with $75,000 in March of 2007.
His associate, David Stuckey, was found not guilty Nov. 17 after the court ruled it could not define whether the public included residents of other countries, Mr. Mercer said. A decision on whether to appeal that finding must be made within 30 days.