$12.5 Million Insider Lottery Win
November 16, 2011 by staff
$12.5 Million Insider Lottery Win, More than seven years after a Toronto-area woman cashed in a stolen $12.5-million Lotto Super 7 ticket, Ontario’s lottery corporation is trying to recoup the money, but the lengthy wait may have cost the Crown agency.
CBC News has learned that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) filed a lawsuit in March against the woman who claimed the ticket, Kathleen Chung, and her family and associated companies for “deliberately deceiving” the corporation.
Police allege that Chung’s father and brother stole the free play ticket in 2003 from its rightful owners who validated the ticket at the Chung-managed Variety Plus store in Burlington, Ont. The duo then allegedly gave the ticket to Kathleen to claim in an attempt to cover their tracks.
The Chungs were charged in September 2010. Kathleen Chung, 30, faces charges of fraud, possession of property obtained by crime and laundering proceeds of crime. Her brother, Kenneth Chung, 29, and their father, Jun-Chul Chung, 61, were each charged with several counts of theft, possession of property obtained by crime and laundering proceeds of crime.
Since Kathleen Chung cashed in the ticket in late 2004, her family appears to have socked money away in dozens of bank accounts in the Toronto area, Seoul and New York, tucked it into life insurance policies and bought $10.5-million worth of properties, including mansions and a Tim Hortons building, according to the lawsuit and land registry documents.
Forensic accountant Marilyn Abate says the Chungs appear to have set up a sophisticated “spider web” of accounts and numbered companies, a sign they were likely expecting the OLG to come after them.
“They’ve had seven years to try and hide it and transfer it to different accounts, different jurisdictions and to different properties, or spend it,” says Abate.
“As the time goes on, your chances [to recover it] become worse and worse.”
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