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Programmer to plead guilty in Iowa, Wisconsin

13 Juin 2017

In March, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt filed a lawsuit against Eddie Tipton, accusing him of working with two others to redeem two bogus lottery tickets for $44,000.

Prosecutors will seek a 25-year prison sentence for former Multi-State Lottery Association security director Eddie Tipton, the mastermind of a scheme that rocked the lottery industry.

The Iowa plea agreement was signed by the Tipton brothers, their attorneys and assistant attorneys general of Colorado, Iowa and Wisconsin on June 2.

"There's a lot of value in confirming what we believe we know", said Iowa prosecutor Rob Sand, adding that the brothers' cooperation "is going to be helpful to lotteries around the country".

In a plea agreement, Tipton also will plead guilty to a felony count of ongoing criminal conduct in Iowa.

Former lottery security officer Eddie Tipton leaves the Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines, Iowa.

Tommy Tipton's attorney, Mark Weinhardt, said his client was pleased to reach a "sensible resolution" in which he'll serve 75 days after pleading to a misdemeanor.

"Tommy takes full responsibility for his role in this affair", he said. "This agreement will allow Tommy to continue to be the hard-working citizen and loving father to his children that he has been for many years".

Tipton's guilty plea in Wisconsin came after Rhodes told investigators there in detail how the scheme worked for a $783,000 Megabucks jackpot they won on December 29, 2007.

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The brothers will repay $3 million to Colorado, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Kansas.

Court documents indicate Eddie Tipton is a resident of Flatonia, Texas, and Rhodes is a resident of Sugar Land, Texas. Tipton bought the ticket and tried to claim it through several avenues, while remaining anonymous.

The investigation started with a mystery in 2011. We're also grateful for the support of former Governor Terry Branstad and Governor Kim Reynolds, for the priority that they have placed on protecting the integrity of the lottery system here in Iowa. A newly created trust stepped forward hours before a one-year deadline to claim a $16.5 million jackpot.

We have said all along that the Iowa Lottery will follow the facts of this investigation wherever they may lead. Colleagues told police the man looked and sounded just like Tipton, who had access to lottery computers.

Investigators then looked into whether Tipton had rigged other games after receiving a tip that his brother won a 2005 Colorado lottery.

An earlier break in the case came in Wisconsin, where investigators were able to recover an old computer used for the drawing that still had Tipton's code on it.

After his arrest, the Multi-State Lottery Association fired Tipton and later forced out its founder and longtime leader over the scandal.

Foley reported from Iowa City, Iowa.

Programmer to plead guilty in Iowa, Wisconsin