Family members handed jail time for 12.5M lotto ticket fraud
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, September 4, 2018 8:40PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 4, 2018 11:44PM EDT
Three family members convicted in a scheme to improperly claim lottery winnings have been handed jail time.
The case dates back to 2003 when Kenneth Chung and his father Jun-Chul Chung worked at a variety store in Burlington.
Court heard that during that time, the two stole free-play tickets from customers. One of those was a Super 7 ticket, which hit a $12. 5 million jackpot on Boxing Day in 2003.
About two months later, in February, Kathleen Chung, Jun-Chul’s daughter, claimed the winning ticket at the OLG.
The family used the winnings to buy homes and expensive vehicles and to live what investigators called a “lavish lifestyle.”
In 2007, a report by the Ontario Ombudsman drew attention to the prevalence of fraudulent lottery wins. That prompted a review of insider lottery wins between 1999 and 2006, which led police to the family.
Following a lengthy investigation, Ontario Provincial Police announced fraud charges against the three family members in connection with the winnings in 2010.
Last spring, all three were convicted.
On Tuesday, a court sentenced Kathleen Chung to four years in prison. Kenneth Chung was sentenced to 10 months in prison. Their father Jun-Chul Chung was sentenced to seven years in prison.
“He’s (Jun-Chul Chung) going to be released on bail pending an appeal until the matter is heard on appeal. That’s what the appeal court is for,” Chung family lawyer Jacqueline An told CTV News Toronto outside the courthouse.
She said she had no comment when asked if he was sorry for his part in the scheme.
Two of the defendants had pleaded not guilty and are asking for an appeal
In 2011, the OLG tracked down the real winners and paid them $14.85 million to account for the original winnings plus interest.
In the meantime the Chung family’s assets have been seized and the OLG has launched a civil suit to try and recoup the rest of the money.
The case has also led to changes in the way that the OLG oversees ticket validation. Among the changes, all vendors must now return the original ticket to its owner after they validate it.
- With a report by CTV News Toronto’s John Musselman