Couple Sentenced for Lottery Fraud
A couple sentenced for Lottery fraud have only narrowly escaped time behind bars. Michael and Amanda Stacey found a Daily Play ticket and claimed the £30,000 prize it won as if it were their own. The couple had spent £15,000 when the rightful National Lottery winner raised the alarm, leading the police to freeze the remainder of the payout.
The couple were found guilty of fraud by false representation and both Michael and Amanda were given a suspended sentence of eleven months in prison.
The rightful winner, a 61 year old by the name of Dorothy McDonagh, will now need to try and recover the missing £15,000 through private legal action. She has appealed to lottery organisers to effectively pay out twice, but the rules forbid that, so all the organisers can do is warn players once again to keep their lottery tickets safe.
The chances are that if Dorothy McDonagh had not realised that she had won with her Daily Play ticket and raised the alarm, the Staceys would have been able to collect and spend the entirety of the £30,000 prize without getting caught.
This should serve as a warning to anyone who plays numbers that they might not be able to recognise as being winners – for example, those who play a different Lucky Dip selection for each draw. And of course, it also reminds us all to take as much care of our lottery tickets as we do of our other valuable possessions.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – the very best way to avoid the risk of losing a lottery ticket (and inadvertently allowing someone else to claim it) is to buy lottery tickets online. Because a lottery ticket purchased online is linked to you as an individual, and there is no paper ticket for you to lose, buying online ensures that any prize you win will be paid to you and you alone.Monday 20th April 2009
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