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Iowa man accused of lottery fraud for cashing ticket on friend's behalf

Mar 31, 2021, 2:14 pm

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Iowa LotteryIowa Lottery: Iowa man accused of lottery fraud for cashing ticket on friend's behalfRating:

Friend of lottery winner pleads not guilty

By Kate Northrop

CLIVE, Iowa — An associate of a lottery winner pleaded not guilty to lottery fraud after being accused of falsely cashing in a $50,000 winning scratch-off ticket.

The Fort Dodge man was charged with one count of lottery fraud, a Class D felony classified as forgery or theft of a ticket, for turning in a winning lottery ticket that reportedly did not belong to him.

Skyler Sturgis Hay, 29, allegedly committed the offense in 2018 when he visited Iowa Lottery headquarters in Clive with friend Nicholas Martin Hanson, 41, to claim a prize for a winning scratch-off ticket worth $50,000. However, the ticket belonged to Hanson, who owed Child Support Recovery, taxes to the state of Iowa, college student loans, and various other debts to "numerous entities."

Hanson reportedly enlisted Hay's help in claiming the $50,000 prize to avoid paying off the debts that he owed. It's one of the reasons state lotteries require the identity of the winner upon claiming a prize to check for existing debts, including child support and taxes.

Hay successfully claimed Hanson's winnings from the Lottery on Sept. 12, 2018. According to court documents, Hanson then spent "the majority of the proceeds" on luxury items, events, and substances, including a 65" Phillips Smart TV, a vacation to Las Vegas, tickets to a Minnesota Vikings game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, signed football jerseys, and illegal narcotics including but not limited to marijuana.

Court documents also state that Hanson had tried to recruit other individuals to help him collect the winnings before he turned to Hay.

In February, Hay was charged with lottery fraud. A jury trial is scheduled to begin on June 29 at the Webster County Courthouse.

Hanson, on the other hand, was charged with ongoing criminal conduct, a Class B felony, in 2019, as well as several other Class C money laundering charges in addition to lottery fraud and substance possession. His jury trial is scheduled to begin on April 6 at the Webster County Courthouse.

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35 comments. Last comment 6 days ago by HoLeeKau.
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MatrixMan369's avatar - pyramid
Florida
United States
Member #209969
September 22, 2020
595 Posts
Offline

No NoNo such thing as easy money. it comes back to bite you in the end.No No

"My calculations are based on the SCIENCE of LETTERS, NUMBERS and ASTROLOGY," W.D.Gann

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    Simpsonville
    United States
    Member #163182
    January 22, 2015
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    A few years back @ a casino near Indy guy wins jackpot.   Instead of taking him in a back room, they were rather uncouth as you couldn't help but hear them tell him he owed child support and this would be taken out of the jackpot win.

      Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
      100
      Zeta Reticuli Star System
      United States
      Member #30469
      January 17, 2006
      11545 Posts
      Offline

      Sending in a 'beard' doesn't always work.

      Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. 

      Lep

      There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

        Tony Numbers's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg
        Bronx ny
        United States
        Member #158510
        August 25, 2014
        610 Posts
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        Looks like  Mr.Hay.'s "taxes" were worse than Minnesota's  taxes.

          HaveABall's avatar - rocket

          United States
          Member #72446
          March 18, 2009
          1366 Posts
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          I wonder if Mr. Hay even knew his friend was a father and/or had huge other related uncancelable debts.

          Research people you want to become friends with.

          Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

          Disney

            Avatar
            Simpsonville
            United States
            Member #163182
            January 22, 2015
            2506 Posts
            Offline

            Well the Iowa lottery does not play....look how long they investigated and got convictions in that infamous MUSL case.   The book about it was a very good read and though it was like looking for a needle in a haystack they won in the end!

              Avatar
              Kentucky
              United States
              Member #32651
              February 14, 2006
              9128 Posts
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              I wonder if Mr. Hay even knew his friend was a father and/or had huge other related uncancelable debts.

              Research people you want to become friends with.

              "An associate of a lottery winner pleaded not guilty to lottery fraud" and the fraud is "for turning in a winning lottery ticket that reportedly did not belong to him."

              If they're saying the legal owner is the person that purchased the ticket than anyone getting a scratch-off as a Christmas present and simply cashing a free ticket could get arrested. And how about the dumpster diving industry or someone finding a ticket in a parking lot?

              Most lottery rules and regulations are consistent and most players understand things like back taxes and child support could be deducted. Had neighbors ask me to get scratch-off and other game tickets for them and not any different than asking to purchase a gallon of milk for them.

              "Hay successfully claimed Hanson's winnings from the Lottery on Sept. 12, 2018."

              It looks like they're saying Hanson was the legal owner of the ticket, but Hanson said nothing watching Hay cash it. The jury trial will start on June 29 and Hay will remain not guilty depending on the outcome of the trial.

              Considering the Iowa Lottery hired someone that rigged multiple RNG drawings, it's easy to see why they want to know who purchased a winning ticket. But we're talking about the same lottery that changed their rules "to allow the sale of a "scratchless" scratch ticket". Sure would like to watch that trial just to see how the Iowa Lottery legally defines the owner of any ticket. 

              *note to self; never buy a lottery ticket in Iowa

              It's not my fault! I voted for Amy.

                MillionsWanted's avatar - 24Qa6LT

                Norway
                Member #9517
                December 10, 2004
                1797 Posts
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                Does that mean they had surveillance video of Hanson buying the ticket?

                  KY Floyd's avatar - lysol avatar.jpg
                  NY
                  United States
                  Member #23834
                  October 16, 2005
                  4368 Posts
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                  "If they're saying the legal owner is the person that purchased the ticket"

                  They're not, because they can't. They can try to sort out who the owner is, but they don't get to decide. The purchaser may buy a ticket on behalf of somebody else who would then be the owner right from the start, or the purchaser may own the ticket when they buy it and then legally gift it to somebody else. As long as the ticket was purchased legally the original owner can legally transfer ownership under normal circumstances.

                  There may be a valid argument that the debts prevented the purchaser from lawfully transferring assets, but I'm not sure how completely that ties in the other guy to the charges. I'm sure the lottery will argue that he only pretended to be the owner, but how easy will it be to prove that? Can they prove the original purchaser got most of the money back and  the things he supposedly bought weren't paid for with other money? Can they prove the purchaser didn't make a gift of the ticket and then the  claimant felt obligated to give back gifts in return?

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                    Kentucky
                    United States
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                    February 14, 2006
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                    "If they're saying the legal owner is the person that purchased the ticket"

                    They're not, because they can't. They can try to sort out who the owner is, but they don't get to decide. The purchaser may buy a ticket on behalf of somebody else who would then be the owner right from the start, or the purchaser may own the ticket when they buy it and then legally gift it to somebody else. As long as the ticket was purchased legally the original owner can legally transfer ownership under normal circumstances.

                    There may be a valid argument that the debts prevented the purchaser from lawfully transferring assets, but I'm not sure how completely that ties in the other guy to the charges. I'm sure the lottery will argue that he only pretended to be the owner, but how easy will it be to prove that? Can they prove the original purchaser got most of the money back and  the things he supposedly bought weren't paid for with other money? Can they prove the purchaser didn't make a gift of the ticket and then the  claimant felt obligated to give back gifts in return?

                    Another problem is the Iowa Lottery already gave the winnings to Hays believing he was the real owner. I just don't see the difference between Hanson buying the ticket and giving to Hays and someone buying scratch-offs as Christmas presents. 

                    "I'm sure the lottery will argue that he only pretended to be the owner"

                    Hays became the owner when Hanson gave hit the ticket. It will be interesting to see how the lottery plans on proving when the ticket changed hands. Can they prove Hanson scratched and knew the value before giving it to Hays?

                    It sure looks like Hanson gave the ticket to Hays to avoid paying taxes and child support, but what law did Hays break?

                    It's not my fault! I voted for Amy.

                      Avatar
                      Simpsonville
                      United States
                      Member #163182
                      January 22, 2015
                      2506 Posts
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                      Not sure if you are saying MUSL and Iowa are one in the same.   They are not and Tipton worked for MUSL.   

                        whynot789's avatar - wallace
                        Racine, WISC
                        United States
                        Member #182048
                        May 29, 2017
                        1023 Posts
                        Offline

                        I see NOTHING wrong with what they did. So if I have a winning ticket, I cannot GIVE IT (as a gift) to a friend of mine??

                        Thats BS.

                         

                        Jon

                        Be obsessed or be average.

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                          Louisiana
                          United States
                          Member #191892
                          August 27, 2018
                          730 Posts
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                          So, the legal owner is the person that purchased the ticket as recorded on video surveillance. The lottery has access to the transaction. 😁✨🌟

                          All number sets are contenders until the drawing occurs.

                            Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
                            50
                            Chief Bottle Washer
                            New Jersey
                            United States
                            Member #1
                            May 31, 2000
                            26180 Posts
                            Online

                            I see NOTHING wrong with what they did. So if I have a winning ticket, I cannot GIVE IT (as a gift) to a friend of mine??

                            Thats BS.

                             

                            Jon

                            If you just wanted to gift your friend the lottery ticket with no strings attached, then that's fine.  But that's not what happened here.

                            This guy gave it to the friend to redeem so that they could avoid paying back taxes, child support, etc., and then the friend gave most of the winnings back to the original winner.  That's illegal.  It's like declaring bankruptcy while secretly hiding assets from the court.  That puts you in jail.

                             

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