According to the South Carolina Code of Laws Unannotated, lottery fraud is defined as:
“Falsely making, altering, forging, uttering, passing, or counterfeiting of lottery ticket; influencing the winning of a lottery prize through coercion, fraud, deception, or tampering; ineligible for prize or employment.”
Recent SC Lottery Fraud Examples
A store employee was accused of scratching off dozens of lottery tickets and cash in the winners. The police said the woman stole the tickets, each with a value of $10.00, and then collected the money for the cards that were winners.
The detective handling the case said that the store noticed a discrepancy in the number of tickets that were available for sale and the number of lottery tickets they should have had. The tickets that were unaccounted for were cashed in at the very same store at which the woman worked.
That woman was charged with three counts of lottery fraud and could face up to 15 years in prison.
Laurens County Lottery Fraud
The Laurens County Sheriff arrested a man recently who allegedly stole lottery tickets from a convenience store where he was employed. He allegedly took an entire roll of scratch-off lottery tickets, with the intent to deprive the owner of their value. He was also accused of attempting to defraud the South Carolina Education lottery with instant Jackpot tickets he knew were stolen.
He was charged with breach of trust and 9 counts of lottery fraud.
Horry County Lottery Fraud
In 2015, nine people who resided in Horry County were sentenced to Federal prison and required to pay restitution for a lottery scam that targeted elderly people.
The scam involved notifying the victims that they’d won a lottery and/or sweepstakes, but they needed to pay a fee or taxes in advance in order to collect their winnings. The people convicted were able to scam over 150 people.
Penalties for South Carolina Lottery Fraud
If you have an intent to defraud, make, alter, forge, passes, utters, or counterfeit a state lottery ticket you could be found guilty of a felony and, if you’re convicted you will be fined not more than $50,000.00 and/or sent to jail for not more than 5 years.
If you influence or attempt to influence the winning lottery prize by coercion, fraud, deception, or tampering with any lottery equipment or materials, it is a felony and, if you are convicted, you will be fined up to $50,000.00 and/or could be sent to jail for up to 5 years.
If you’re convicted of either of the above, you must not be the recipient of a lottery prize or award or receive even a portion of any lottery winnings or prizes.
Do You Need an Attorney if You are Charged with Lottery Fraud in South Carolina?
The crime of lottery fraud in South Carolina is a serious offense with significant potential penalties. The Greenville, SC criminal defense attorneys in South Carolina strongly encourage anyone charged with lottery fraud to retain the services of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can investigate and evaluate the strength of the evidence supporting your charges and can help you achieve the most appropriate resolution for your case.