Store owner guilty of stealing lottery ticket, claiming it as his own

Dec 7, 2009, 8:54 am (19 comments)

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation

Faces up to 14 years for claiming $5.75 million prize

A former convenience store owner pleaded guilty Thursday to fraudulently claiming a $5.75 million winning Canada Lotto 6/49 ticket as his own.

Hafiz Malik, 62, validated the lottery ticket at his now-closed convenience store near Dufferin Street and Dupont Street in June 2004 but didn't tell his customer she had won the jackpot.

Seven months later, he claimed the prize, according to an agreed statement of facts read out in court.

After receiving the jackpot in February 2005, Malik moved from his apartment, bought a million-dollar house in Mississauga, a Land Rover and a Mercedes.

He was arrested in December 2007 and his assets and bank accounts frozen after the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation determined four Toronto Catholic District School Board employees were the rightful ticket owners.

Friends Lorraine Teicht, Paul Carlisi, Silvana Pincivero and Aurora Pincivero regularly played the same lotto numbers.

Three of the group initially hired a private investigator to look at the fourth member after suspecting she had claimed the prize.

The investigator "took them on a wild goose chase" before they realized they might have been duped by Malik, Crown attorney Philip Perlmutter told the court. The group went to the OLG with their suspicion in July 2007.

Five months later, Malik was arrested and they were awarded the $5.75 million prize plus $788,000 in interest.

An auditor's report found the OLG paid out more than $198 million to insiders between 1995 and 2008, but this case was not one of the insider wins that was originally identified by the report.

Greg Harris, a lawyer for the rightful winners said the plea "brings a sense of closure."

Malik, who hid his face under a scarf as he left the courthouse, remains free on $60,000 bail.

He will be back in court on March 16 for sentencing submissions. The maximum penalty for fraud of more than $5,000 is 14 years.

The audit was preceded by a scathing report by Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin who blasted the OLG for being more fixated on profits than the integrity of games after a disproportionate number of lottery retailers or their families claimed winning tickets.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Toronto Star, National Post, Lottery Post Staff


sully16's avatarsully16

what kind of dum dum doesn't check their own numbers when millions are at stake ? call the lottery hotline go on line ,get a print out. never fork your tickets over to somene you don't know. i hope the other 3 friends convince dum dum to get common sense classes. maybe they need classes to .hold on to your losers if you win  you can claim them as losses.Bash

TheGameGrl's avatarTheGameGrl

OKay here goes yet another article which I am guessing folks will side one of two ways.

Those who hold the ticket group responsible, because gee after all shouldn't  they be checking their ticket BEFORE going in to get claim prize. Never mind that some places DO NOT have the scan system that allows the customer to see first hand if its a winner or its value for claim.

Beside its a bearers instrument so the Guy who claimed it is the Final winner . (NOT!)

or Secondly

the Posters who have common sense to see this matter rationally and realize that:

1: The person(s) who bought and went to claim ticket BUT were LIED to, are still the winners.(As the courts saw fit in the end )

2: While justice may have been served in the end, its a harsh lesson to learn that Far more conveince store owners/ employees are apt to lie to harvest the winnings.

Where there is opportunity to cheat and steal, most will do so. Where there is a chance to be honest , most won't.

Not sure why it took 2 years to get this story out.....

NYSlugger 777's avatarNYSlugger 777

Sometimes ppl are first time lottery players or unexperienced players, and some arent sure how to check if they won so they go to the lottery store and ask the store clerk. This isnt the first time a story like this has come up in LP or any other news I have read.It's a common scam. The victim ask the clerk if they have won anything, & the clerk will say no the tickets no good pretend to throw it out and pick it up and cash it themselves once the victim has left the store.It's easy for me to find out if i've won I can check Results right here at LP under the Tab "results" or at my states officail lottery website, or even the Daily Newspaper.I was "almost " a victim of that scam only one time when I hit a # for $400 ( 2525 Box .50 )

I knew the ticket was a winner because I checked the results online so...

I Went to the store asked her(the store clerk) to check the ticket for me (so it could be cashed) and after pressing some buttons on the lotto machine she told me "no it's no good somebody already cash ticket". I immediately thought to myself no way I had the ticket im my possesion the whole time until I gave it to her to cash in the the only somebody that could have cashed ticket was her the store clerk.I then explained to her I know she just punched in my ticket number into the machine and that her next step would be to give me the $400.SHe began speaking in spanish (a language I cannot understand) to a male worker that works in her restaraunt and I had no idea what they were saying.It took me about 8 - 10 minutes to get the money but she gave the $400 after she realized I knew what she was trying to do

Anyway I'm glad they got this would be theif and he deserves the jail time for what he did.Hopefully other lottery store clerks who read this story or hear about it and the consequences this scammer got and store clerks will think twice before they attempt to scam someone.

TnTicketlosers's avatarTnTicketlosers

Thats why I play in certain stores...Get the drift?

rdgrnr's avatarrdgrnr

This is a good example of a Lottery Commission doing the right thing.

The people got all their money back plus interest even after the thief had spent part of it.

The Texas Lottery Commission could learn something from the Canadians on this matter regarding the man in Texas who also had his winning ticket stolen by a cashier. They however, unlike Canada, told him he's on his own.

Congrats to the Canadian Lottery and law enforcement for doing the right thing. The Texas Lottery Commission should be ashamed in light of this development.

diamondpalace's avatardiamondpalace

Another one huh? They can't seem to learn.

TigerAngel's avatarTigerAngel

Out on bail? I dought this guy will stick around. Good luck catching him again once he flees the country.

rdgrnr's avatarrdgrnr

Quote: Originally posted by TigerAngel on Dec 7, 2009

Out on bail? I dought this guy will stick around. Good luck catching him again once he flees the country.

Good point, TigerAngel. At 62 yrs old and facing prison til he's 76, I'd say he's a major flight risk and $60,000 ($6,000 cash) bond is way too low. Being caught inflagrante delicto doesn't bode well for his future either. The judge who set his bail should do his time if he splits.

MADDOG10's avatarMADDOG10

What everyone should realize is that this happened in Canada, not the U.S.A.. Their guidelines and laws are different from ours.

 I agree although I would have set bail at a much higher denomination, simply because he is a higher flight risk...

 Money, sure does strange things to some people...!    Stupidity....!

maringoman's avatarmaringoman

People like me who check their tickets 2 times before handing them over to the store employee

to validate them if they are winners never seem to win. Maybe I should stop checking them huh? ha ha ha

rdgrnr's avatarrdgrnr

This story also makes you wonder about the high rate of wins by lottery retailers mentioned in previous news articles.

Maybe this is a lot more common than we think.

RJOh's avatarRJOh

Quote: Originally posted by maringoman on Dec 7, 2009

People like me who check their tickets 2 times before handing them over to the store employee

to validate them if they are winners never seem to win. Maybe I should stop checking them huh? ha ha ha

I not only check my tickets but high-lite the winning numbers using a pink marker and I never ask the clerks to check them but to cash them. 

Some of the larger retailer has terminals that announce "you have a winner" when winning tickets are scanned and the clerks return the tickets to the customers whether they are winners or losers.

charmed7's avatarcharmed7

I agree DP, they never seem to learn, why would cheat people out of their winnings

And he got GREEDY with it.... ONE of 7 deadly sin GREED


As Otis,from Back at the Barnyard, would say:

OH MILK ME!!!!!! HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!!!  Bang Head

Although this story is sooooooo tempting, I refuse to give in to the urge!

Well maybe just a little.

  1. Accountability to the original ticket holder(s) can't be factored out no matter how many excuses you can come up with.
  2. A thief is a thief and there is no excuse this man can create to justify his theft.
  3. Why did "three of the group initially hire a private investigator to look at the fourth member even though this woman was still reporting to work and hadn't made any lifestyle changes.
  4. Who was paying the investigator a kickback?
  5. What charges if any will be brought against the investigator? "The investigator "took them on a wild goose chase" before they realized they might have been duped by Malik"
  6. What have you learned from this story, other than sign your ticket, check your own ticket, & be wary of playing the lottery with a group of people?

Answer: No matter who you are, once you win that jackpot you will be a changed person. Either for the good or for the bad. Your true nature will reveal itself and so will the nature of those around you.

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