Frank Galella, 67, from Niagara Falls in Canada, has pleaded guilty to theft and fraud charges after attempting to cheat other members of a $7m winning Lotto 6/49 syndicate.
The 11 strong syndicate won their Lotto 6/49 jackpot three years ago. The Ontario Court of Justice in St Catharine’s heard the accused plead guilty to a charge of theft of over $5,000 for stealing the Lotto 6/49 ticket. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of counselling his daughter, Joanne, to defraud Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. of $7,036,047.
It’s the latest lottery case to hit the courts. We previously told you of the court action taken in the States against Eddie Tipton for attempting to rig a $14.3m Hot Lotto draw.Earlier this year Camelot had to issue threats of legal action over fraudulent UK Lotto claims.
The syndicate were regular Lotto 6/49 players and Galella was the group leader responsible for collecting money, purchasing tickets from the Busy Bee variety store and checking results. The winning Lotto 6/49 ticket was purchased by Galella but when he discovered the Lotto 6/49 jackpot win he failed to tell other members of the syndicate about their big win.
Instead he persuaded his daughter, Joanne, to claim the Lotto 6/49 as her own. He then showed two non-winning Lotto 6/49 tickets to the syndicate and told them of his daughter’s jackpot win. Suspicious syndicate members later claimed the winning Lotto 6/49 ticket belonged to them and the Ontario Provincial Police were contacted.
The police investigation proved that the winning Lotto 6/49 ticket belonged to the syndicate. In October 2013, Galella was arrested. He now faces sentencing on September 8. The police also win as well as investigate crime, like a syndicate of police officers from Ontario who won a $5m Lotto 6/49 jackpot.
The other ten syndicate members have received their share of the jackpot win. Galella must still come forward to claim his share of the winnings. We’ve previously reported on a scam using the name of $259.8m Powerball winner Roy Cockrum. Last year there were accusations over fraud in the Serbian Lottery.