OTTAWA WHITE COLLAR CRIME LAWYER – Lottery fraud charges were laid against a group of relatives on September 29, in a story that made national headlines and has the Ontario Provincial Police scrambling to find the rightful lottery prize winner.
Winning an Ontario lottery through fraud, just like any other form of financial fraud, is an offence punishable under the Criminal Code of Canada.
In the case of the three suspects in this case, the criminal charges laid were very serious and included fraud over $5000, possession of money over $5000 obtained through criminal means, and money laundering. The ticket for which they claimed winnings in 2003 was worth $12.5 million, and the Ontario Provincial Police have already seized $10 million in assets from the fraud suspects.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is the crown corporation responsible for preventing Ontario lottery fraud, in keeping with the corporation’s Lottery Prize Integrity Program.
The fraud prevention rules the OLG has in place may have already begun to change following an Ontario shopkeeper’s admission (earlier this year) to scamming a customer out of lottery winnings.
Gambling online is another big change that could increase Ontario’s incidences of lottery fraud – and complicate the Ontario Provincial Police’s efforts to contain it. In an August 2010 news release, OLG announced it would introduce internet lotteries to its array of gambling options, and it will be interesting to observe how it chooses to handle online fraud cases.
When individuals or groups are suspected of lottery fraud in Ontario, it’s not the OLG that attempts to deal with them – they are charged with criminal offences and tried in criminal court.
If you are being questioned or investigated for possible involvement in an any type of fraud, it’s best to consult a criminal defence lawyer with experience handling fraud and white collar crime cases. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by phone (613) 233-4529 or by email [email protected]