The Special Currency Police Unit of Italy’s law enforcement agency Guardia di Finanza has arrested 12 individuals connected to lottery fraud. Current and former employees of Lottomatica Holdings, a subsidiary of International Game Technology (IGT), and their families allegedly devised to collect jackpots via scratch-off tickets.
Suspects Allegedly Collected €24 Million in Four Years
Four Lottomatica employees are currently investigated for tipping off their family to retailers where jackpot-winning scratch-off tickets were sold.
Police said the suspected individuals collected €24 million ($28 million) between 2015 and 2019 with four tickets: Two winning Super Cash scratch-off tickets worth €7 million each, as well as two Maxi Billionaire tickets worth €5 billion each.
The odds of winning jackpots are 1 in 15.84 million for the Super Cash jackpot and 1 in 9.36 million for the Maxi Billionaire jackpot.
As the IGT bars its employees from playing its games, the suspects shared the location of the winning tickets with relatives.
Multiple Charges and Up to 12 Years in Prison
IGT and Lottomatica fully cooperated with the Italian police by providing access to its computer networks, which helped the Guardia di Finanza with identifying the fraudulent employees. The four employees were suspended as soon as IGT was made aware of the investigation.
The 12 suspects have been charged with aggravated fraud, unauthorized access to IT systems, receiving stolen goods, and self-laundering illicit capital. If found guilty, they face up to 3 years in prison for fraud and 12 years for money laundering.
IGT Aims For High Integrity Levels
IGT officials said the company is reviewing its internal systems and has taken measures to prevent criminal and fraudulent activities. The supplier also shared its dedication towards regulators and customers, which starts by ensuring “the highest levels of integrity” for its business.
IGT also detailed its integrity practices and said it is committed to player protection through its responsible gambling program.
The company’s advanced security management process prevents cyberattacks 24-hours a day.
The majority of the Italian lottery’s earnings is for the state treasury department, Ministry of Heritage and Cultural Activities, the horse racing industry, and social programs, while the rest is for the public benefit.