OPP charge three men with lottery fraud
Three men have been charged after an employee at a lottery retail store allegedly bought a winning ticket at work and had someone else attempt to claim the prize.
Vijayarani Rajagopalan, 41, and Shanmugan Rajagopalan, 45, both of Guelph, as well as 49-year-old Shanmugalingam Arumugam of Brampton each face a charge of fraud over $5,000.
An OPP investigation found an employee at a lottery retail location in Brampton purchased a Poker Lotto ticket from their work location in 2011.
In order to attempt to claim the $100,000 prize, the employee then allegedly had someone else go to the Toronto Prize Centre and pretend to have purchased the ticket.
OPP Insp. William Price says "The employee knew that they couldn't claim it, because they are an employee at a retail location. So they had to find another individual to claim the prize on their behalf."
The reason the employee could not himself claim the prize is that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has a ‘No Play at Work' policy, and the purchase of the ticket violated that rule.
Yusuf Patel, owner of Four Seasons Gas Rite in Kitchener, explains "Employees or owners that operate the lottery terminal cannot play at the same terminal or same business, they have to go somewhere else to play."
The policy was implemented a few years ago after a number of high-profile ‘insider win' cases.
That includes a case where three family members allegedly stole a $12.5-million ticket, and possibly more, from unsuspecting customers.
Patel says he likes the stricter rules because "It's better for consumers and for the system of OLG's integrity."
The three accused are expected to appear in a Brampton court on April 30.