Lotteries around the world are having problems, such as the Australian winner who defrauded the company. NJ is reporting lower earnings, and Japan is switching to online access to lottery tickets.
A burglar stole a lottery ticket and tried to cash it in. Police caught him, but it is just another tale of how people are willing to do stupid things for lottery money.
Another place, Multnomah County, which has a small market, was hit twice by lottery thieves.
The US Department of Justice announced they are charging the head of a credit union. The head of New York’s oldest credit union stole funds from lottery tickets to the tune of $3.5 million. Tuesday, May 8, 2018, the US Attorney filed charges against Kam Wong. The Southern District of New York Attorney listed the charges as fraud, embezzlement, wired fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
Kam Wong was CEO and president of Municipal Credit Union. Wong is 62 years old and allegedly defrauded the credit union using various scams. For example, he was reimbursed for $440,000 worth of dental work he had never done. He pocketed the money. Wong is also accused of taking $3.6 million in cash payments instead of long-term disability insurance. He also gained another $3.1 million to pay his personal taxes. Wong also “tested” Municipal’s ATMs, allegedly, by withdrawing unauthorized amounts of cash, with a business credit card. He claimed payments for 320 days of unused sick leave.
The Department of Justice alleges that Wong, who was CEO of the credit union since 2007, spend $3.55 million of the money he took from the bank on lottery products between 2013 and 2018.
The lottery purchases were made in only two New York locations. A store close to Wong’s office had 131 checks that totaled $3.1 million, which was used to purchase New York State Lottery Tickets.
Investigation is Ongoing
The charges are filed, but there is still an investigation to find any other evidence against Wong. He was put on a leave of absence in February after trying to mislead federal agents and the board members of the credit union. Wong’s attorney states the “dodgy transactions” were done transparently and openly with the board aware of the “tests” he was conducting.
Wong faces a 30-year maximum sentence if convicted of the fraud and embezzlement charges. The aggravated identity theft has a mandatory two-year consecutive term in prison—if convicted of the crime.