April 22, 2024 2 min read


Lottery Winners Asked to Restitute $30,000 Because of Fraud

Alvin Hans Larsen III asked Sandra Crow to claim the win on his behalf because he didn’t want to pay back $560 he owed

Iowa roommates tried to cheat the state lottery and must now return $30,000, as per a court ruling. The pair had devised a scheme under which Sandra Crow fraudulently claimed the $30,000 prize, taking the lump sum of $21,300. However, Alvin Hans Larsen III, her roommate, was the actual winner.

Through this fraud, Larsen III sought to avoid paying a sum he owed to the state. Larsen and Crow’s plot might have unnoticed if not for a disagreement between the two schemers.

A month after Crow claimed the $30,000 prize, she got into a quarrel with Larsen III. After a report of a domestic disturbance, police arrived on the scene and heard the pair arguing about the money.

According to the police report, Crow admitted that she cashed the ticket in but wasn’t entitled to the money. She explained that Larsen had asked her to cash in the ticket so he didn’t have to pay back the money he owed.

While Crow eventually changed her story and claimed that the ticket had been a gift from Larsen, the man eventually admitted to the fraud. As it turned out, Larsen owed $560 he didn’t wish to pay.  

The Pair Must Restitute the Sum

Crow was convicted of misdemeanor lottery fraud in November and had to pay a $500 fine. Larsen pleaded guilty and was given a deferred judgment. His case would be removed from his record after a two-year probation period.

Last, Crow’s attorney, Kimberly DePalma, tried to defend the win, since the ticket was genuine. DePalma argued that restitution should only apply to Larsen’s $560 debt.

However, District Court Judge John Sullivan thought otherwise. According to him, the fraudulent claim invalidated the win. Because of that, Sullivan ruled that the full sum must be returned because Crow did not have the right to possess or present the ticket and was not entitled to receive the prize.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

1 Comment

  • Jessie Diaz
    April 24, 2024 at 4:15 pm


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