The case against Eddie Tipton, a former lottery computer programmer, has come to a close with the sentencing hearing taking place on Tuesday, August 22, 2017.
The hearing took place at the Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines, Iowa, with Judge Brad McCall sentencing Tipton to up to 25 years in prison for rigging a computer program which enable him to pick winning numbers in several lottery games over six years.
After a lengthy trial, the former lottery computer programmer eventually admitted to rigging computers. He cheated four states out of $2.2 million in several lottery games over six years.
Too little, too late
The 54 year old, who worked as former information technology manager for the Multi-State Lottery Association said, “I regret my actions and I’m sorry for the people I hurt.”
Tipton has agreed to pay about $2.2 million in restitution, including $1.1 million to the Colorado lottery, $644,000 to the Oklahoma lottery, $391,000 to the Wisconsin lottery and $30,000 to the Kansas lottery.
When the Judge asked Tipton how he inteded to repay the money, Tipton answer was, "I really don't know."
Prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Rob Sand, said he's planning to locate and seize "significant amounts of restitution" from Tipton and his co-conspirators, Tommy Tipton and Robert Rhodes, as all three guilty parties have "significant assets at their disposal."
He went on to say, "When you're an insider who abuses your position of trust and privilege you should expect to see the inside of a jail cell. We're glad that the court agreed and found it appropriate to send Mr. Tipton to prison."
In saying so, neither Sand, nor Tipton's defense lawyer, expect him to serve his full sentence. In fact, Tipton's lawyer said he expects his client will serve three to four years before being released.
How the scam worked
Being the former programmer with the Multistate Lottery Association, Tipton designed and maintained software "for computerized random number generators" used to select winning lottery numbers in many states across the country," according to the office of Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.
Tipton then with the help of three others purchased lottery tickets in various states, and selected numbers that he knew would win, because he designed the program that generated the winning numbers.The three other men implicated in the scam cashed in the lottery tickets and split the money.
The other two
One of Tipton's helpers, is his brother Tommy, a former judge in Texes. Can you believe it?
He's currently serving a 75-day sentence in Texas for a misdemeanor theft charge and deferred judgment on a felony charge of conspiracy to commit theft.
Rhodes, who also lives in Texas, was the one who attempted to redeem the $14.3 million jackpot. He has pleaded guilty to fraud and will be sentenced on Friday.
Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said, “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.”
Best of luck!
The PlayUSALotteries.com Team
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