Lottery Fixer Gets 25 Years in JailAugust 23, 2017 10:25 am
Eddie Tipton has been ordered to serve up to 25 years behind bars, after the former security head of the Multi-State Lottery (MUSL) was convicted of rigging computers to generate winnings lottery numbers worth $2.2 million over a six-year period. The 54-year-old was handed the sentence on August 22nd at the Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines, Iowa, with District Court Judge Brad McCall commenting during the sentencing:
“It is indeed unfortunate that you did not use that intelligence to prosper by legal means. Instead you chose an illegal path.”
For his part, Eddie Tipton expressed regret for his actions and having involved people he cared about in the fraud, including a business associate called Robert Rhodes, who has admitted to committing a computer crime, and his brother, the former Texas judge Tommy Tipton, who is currently serving a 75-day prison sentence for conspiracy to commit theft by deception. Tommy Tipton had bought lottery tickets on four occasions in Colorado and Oklahoma using the numbers his brother had provided for him, and as he explained to the judge in court:
“My brother did provide me with numbers to play in Colorado and Oklahoma lotteries and he told me that it was illegal for him to play the lotteries but gave me the numbers to play.”
The lottery scam eventually unravelled after several anonymous attempts to claim a winning $16.5 million Hot Lotto ticket were refused as Iowa rules require the ticket’s purchaser and owner be made public. The incident happened back in 2010, and a subsequent investigation of video surveillance footage revealed Tipton to be the man buying the lotto ticket, leading to the scam being unearthed.
As part of his plea bargain, Eddie Tipton has also agreed to repay the money he fraudently acquired, although he says he is uncertain as to how he will be able to raise the money. In the meantime, Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich has said that precautions have been taken to ensure that the same crime will not take place again, stating:
“Eddie Tipton had the keys to the kingdom and those are the things we changed immediately to make sure any equipment he touched was removed and we continue to look ahead and make sure we have those checks and balances as we proceed.”