The computer program that a former lottery security official used to rig drawings worth millions of dollars in Iowa and other states was more expansive than investigators first discovered, court records filed last week show.
Eddie Tipton, a former employee of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) in Clive, wrote the code to allow him to predict the randomly drawn numbers of multimillion-dollar jackpots in as many as 17 states and claim the cash prizes.
The code remained active and undetected for almost a decade before Iowa officials in 2015 discovered Tipton’s scheme. It allowed Tipton and his accomplices to defraud the system on specific days each year, which investigators initially believed were Nov. 23 and Dec. 29.
But an independent security audit conducted by the Multi-State Lottery revealed at least one more date was written into Tipton’s code for picking the winning numbers: May 27.
Previously: Court tosses 1 fraud conviction in lottery rigging scam
Tipton was sentenced last year to up to 25 years in prison for rigging lotteries in Iowa, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas and Oklahoma. But he was not prosecuted for rigging drawings on any May 27 dates.
He told investigators that they had identified all the fraudulent wins associated with his scheme and said he didn’t attempt others.
His brother, Tommy Tipton, told investigators something different.
© Brian Powers/The Register Former Multi-State Lottery Association security director Eddie Tipton leaves the Polk County Courthouse after being found guilty of fraud on Monday, July 20, 2015.
Tommy Tipton — who acknowledged being tied to his brother’s $4.5 million rigged jackpot win in Colorado in 2005 — said Eddie gave him numbers for at least two other drawings that he tried to use to win jackpots. But he didn’t win.
The additional May 27 window means there are probably more potential fraud cases, according to Evan Teitelman of SeNet International Corp.
The Multi-State Lottery hired SeNet in 2015 to help perform a security evaluation following Tipton’s arrest.
MUSL is a non-profit, government-benefit association headquartered in Clive that is owned and operated by its 36 member lotteries, including the Iowa Lottery.
It provides security, information technology and draw services to its members.
MUSL is refusing to make SeNet’s evaluation available in a civil case in which Larry Dawson of Webster City, Iowa, contends that his jackpot was smaller than it should have been as a result of Tipton’s fraudulent win.
In a separate case, Burlington, Iowa, resident Dale Culler is additionally seeking a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all players cheated out of lottery wins by Tipton’s manipulated drawings.
Teitelman made the comments about the newly discovered third rigged date during a July 30 Def Con 25 Hacker conference called “Backdooring the Lottery and Other Security Tales from Gaming.”
His presentation was cited last week by Dawson’s lawyers in an effort to compel Multi-State Lottery to release the full evaluation.
Iowa court records Executives of a company hired by the Multi-State Lottery Association
found a third date where Eddie Tipton may have rigged “random” national lottery drawing jackpots.
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“This is just known cases of fraud,” Teitelman said. “There are probably more, especially since we found a third date in the code itself.”
Teitelman could not be reached for comment Friday, but Gus Fritschie, another executive of SeNet and a co-presenter at the July conference, confirmed the security evaluation uncovered the third rigged date.
Investigators have reviewed games they believe Tipton could have tampered with, including the May 27 dates, Dave Jobes, assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said Friday.
“We did our best to identify any of those across the country based on what information that we had,” Jobes said.
Tommy Tipton, a former Texas magistrate, was sentenced to a 75-day jail sentence in Texas after he pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to commit theft by deception.
Robert Rhodes, a friend of Eddie Tipton’s and an accomplice of the scheme, was sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to fraud.
Bret Tyone, CEO of MUSL, said he couldn’t comment Friday, citing ongoing litigation.
The possibility that more games were rigged deserves further review, said Gary Dickey, Culler’s attorney in the case seeking class-action status.
“Any drawing that was rigged to produce predetermined numbers was not random,” Dickey said. “Even if no jackpot was claimed, the players would still have been defrauded by being deprived of the random drawing they were promised.”
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