New York Lottery Ticket Fraud is a white-collar crime, which is prosecuted by both New York State and federal prosecutors. These charges can result in a felony record, incarceration, as well as forfeiture of your assets and restitution to the victims. Thus, hiring the right criminal defense attorney is the single most important decision you can make for your case.
Types of Lottery Ticket Fraud
Many types of conduct constitute lottery ticket fraud. Some examples of New York Lottery Ticket Fraud are:
- Using a forged or altered ticket to claim a prize;
- Presenting a stolen ticket to collect winnings;
- Tampering with the lottery draw process itself;
- Falsely informing individuals they’ve won a lottery prize and requesting payment to collect winnings. This is commonly called advance fee fraud.
- Selling fake lottery tickets.
Criminal Laws Prohibiting Lottery Ticket Fraud
In New York Lottery Ticket Fraud, is prosecuted under both New York State Law and well as federal criminal law. Below are some criminal statutes that apply to Lottery Ticket Fraud.
Developing a scheme to defraud and utilizing the mail for the purposes of executing the fraud is called Mail Fraud. This charge is codified in Section 1341 of Title 18 of United States Code. If New York Lottery Ticket Fraud involves the mail, whether USPS, FedEx or UPS, the federal mail fraud charge may apply. Mail Fraud under 18 U.S.C. Section 1341 is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
If New York York Lottery Ticket Fraud involves the use of wires, the federal wire fraud statute may apply. Federal Wire Fraud is codified in 18 U.S.C. Section 1343. This charge is very similar to the Mail Fraud statute, except it requires the use of wires, instead of the use of the mail system. Wire Fraud requires (1) a scheme to defraud and (2) the use of the telephone or an electronic wire to advance that fraud. Federal Wire fraud is also punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Interstate Transportation ofWagering Paraphernalia
Under federal law, it is a crime to send any wagering instruments through the mail or another carrier. This charge is codified in 18 U.S.C. Section 1953, and prohibits sending in interstate mail:
- or other device used, or to be used, or adapted, devised, or designed for use in bookmaking; wagering pools with respect to a sporting event; OR in a numbers, policy, bolita, or similar games.
Interstate Transportation ofWagering Paraphernalia is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and will result in a felony criminal record.
New York State Laws
Lottery Ticket Fraud cases can also be prosecuted under several charges of the New York Penal Law. The exact charges that will apply will depend on the type of the lottery ticket fraud.
New York Petit Larceny and Grand Larceny
Stealing or obtaining property of another based on a a false pretense is a crime under New York Law. The value of the stolen or wrongfully obtained property will dictate what crime should be charged. If the value of the property is:
- Under $1,000, the charge is Petit Larceny (Penal Law Section 155.25);
- Over $1,000, but less than $2,500, the charge is Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree (Penal Law Section 155.30);
- Over $2,500 but less than $50,000, the charge is Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (Penal Law Section 155.35);
- Over $50,000 but less than $1,000,000, the charge is Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (Penal Law Section 155.40);
- Over $1,000,000, the charge is Grand Larceny in the First Degree (Penal Law Section 155.42).
New York Petit Larceny charges are punishable by up to 1 year in jail, while Grand Larceny in the First Degree is punishable by an indeterminate term up to 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison.
New York Scheme to Defraud
Lottery Ticket Fraud can also be prosecuted under New York Scheme to Defraud Charge, which is codified in Sections 190.60 and 190.65 of the New York Penal Law. Scheme to Defraud charges involve systematic and ongoing course of conduct for the purpose of defrauding another individual or obtaining property from another individual.
New York Scheme to Defraud in the Second Degree is punishable by up to 1 year in prison, while Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree is punishable by up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison.
Agencies Investigating Lottery Ticket Fraud Schemes
As there are many different types of lottery ticket fraud schemes, many law enforcement agencies investigate these crimes. The agency that is involved is dictated by which means the lottery ticket fraud is carried out. For example:
- U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigates mail schemes,
- Federal Communications Commission investigates email schemes,
- Federal Bureau Of Investigation investigates internet schemes,
- Internal Revenue Service.
Frequently Asked Questions about Lottery Fraud Schemes
1. What is the Statute of Limitations for Running a Lottery Fraud Scheme?
The statute of limitations under both federal and New York State Law is 5 years. However, under federal law, if the crime involves a bank, then the statute of limitations is extended to 10 years.
Importantly, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the criminal conduct ends. That is to say, if the criminal conduct is still ongoing, the statute of limitations for a New York Lottery Fraud charge is yet to start running.
2. What Will I Be Sentenced to for Running a Lottery Fraud Scheme?
It is nearly impossible to predict your sentence on any case. It will ultimately depend on a number of factors:
- The charge you plead guilty to,
- Whether your case is being prosecuted by state or federal prosecutors,
- Your previous criminal history,
- The calculated loss amount,
- Whether you are getting cooperation credit
- Nature of the offense and any applicable federal enhancements or reductions.
- Your personal nature and individual characteristics.
Usually, in New York State Court, your plea is pre-negotiated, where you know exactly what your sentence will be at sentencing. In federal court, the sentencing is determinant on the calculation of U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and their application to your case. Unless you are getting a plea agreement pursuant to Rule 11(c)(1)(c), which has a guaranteed sentence in the plea agreement, you won’t know exactly what your sentence is until the day of sentencing.
3. What Are Some Examples of High Profile Lottery Ticket Fraud Cases?
1980 Pennsylvania Lottery Scandal
In 1980, Nick Perry, the host of Pennsylvania lottery masterminded a plan which involved creating replicas of the official lottery balls used in the Pennsylvania Lottery machines. The heavier weighted balls ensured that a limited combinations of numbers were likely to be drawn. Thus, certain number combinations were a lot more probable.
In 1981, Perry was convicted of Criminal Conspiracy, Criminal Mischief, Theft by Deception, Rigging a Publicly Exhibited Contest and Perjury. He was sentenced to 7 years in prison.
The Hot Lotto Fraud Scandal
In 2017, Eddie Raymond Tipton, the former director of Multi-State Lottery Association, which consists of 34 lottery companies, admitted to rigging the random number generator for seven different lotteries. He was convicted in 2015, for rigging the Hot Lotto lottery game to the tune of $14.3 million. Later, he admitted to rigging lottery games in Iowa, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas and Oklahoma.
In 2015, Tipton went to trial and was convicted of two counts of fraud. He was sentenced to ten years imprisonment. His attorney was able to get him bail pending appeal. After his co-conspirator accepted a plea deal with a provision to testify against Tipton, Tipton confessed to lottery fraud. He admitted to installing a random number generator software that allowed him to predict the winning numbers. Tipton was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Contact Top Rated New York Lottery Ticket Fraud Defense Attorneys
If you or your loved one are under investigation or have been arrested and charged for Lottery Ticket Fraud, you need to retain a top-rated New York Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. As these cases take a few months if not years to investigate, the Government has an advance start on you. You need an attorney that will dedicate all the time necessary to your case and the development of your defense. Read our client testimonials to see what our clients say about us and contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.