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Report: Lotto scam went on for more than a year

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State investigators grilled Connecticut Lottery officials Tuesday about their response to a cheating scandal after an official report accused them of failing to stop cheaters. State investigators grilled Connecticut Lottery officials Tuesday about their response to a cheating scandal after an official report accused them of failing to stop cheaters.
NORWALK -

State investigators grilled Connecticut Lottery officials Tuesday about their response to a cheating scandal after an official report accused them of failing to stop cheaters.

According to a Department of Consumer Protection report, store clerks were manipulating lottery terminals to only issue winning tickets for the 5 Card Cash game and stole at least $1.5 million. It goes on to say that lottery officials knew of the scandal as early as July 2014, more than a year before they moved to suspend the game.

The game 5 Card Cash works like a hand of poker, with winning hands getting instant payouts. The clerks could buy a batch of tickets and see which ones were winners. They would print only those out, and then cash them in.

Even before the game launched, the report says lottery officials knew that clerks could see which tickets were winners. Several months later, a Trumbull retailer alerted the Connecticut Lottery of possible fraud. Meetings for top leaders to investigate were canceled with no follow-up. Consumer Protection was notified nearly a year later.

Connecticut Lottery acting President Frank Farricker insists that they did not miss numerous red flags, saying at the time, lottery officials did not know the specifics of how the rigging worked.

So far, 15 store clerks from across the state have been arrested in the scam. The state has only recovered 7 percent of the stolen money.

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