Greek police arrest 2 in fake lottery that took in 360,000 Germans, netting $50 million
A national lottery street vendor sells tickets in front of a riot police bus outside the Greek Finance ministry in central Athens, on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, June 25, 2014 10:47AM EDT
ATHENS -- Greek authorities say they have broken a massive lottery scam targeting Germans that tricked about 360,000 people into paying to take part in non-existent draws.
A police statement Wednesday said two Greek men have been arrested on suspicion of running the ring, whose illicit earnings allegedly exceeded 36 million euros ($50 million) in nearly four years.
The crackdown came after authorities enlisted the help of German law enforcement. The ring allegedly used illegally-procured lists of German betting company clients, whom they then phoned, offering cash prizes or free holidays in return for a monthly subscription of about 30 euros ($41).
It was unclear why only people in Germany were targeted but the country is much wealthier than Greece. Police said the two suspects arrested Tuesday in Athens were German-born.