Computer Analyst Embezzles Loto-Québec Customer Money

By Ben Hamill - July 12 2021
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Computer Analyst Embezzles Loto-Québec Customer Money

A computer analyst was charged with fraud and other criminal offenses after Quebec’s anti-corruption united discovered a security breach at Loto-Québec a year ago. 37-year-old Martin Raymond from Terrebonne allegedly used his position at an online gaming centre to access information and to embezzle as much as $20,000 from players and from the Crown company. Although there were some instances of fraudulent activity a few years ago, most of the evidence against him is from the first 5 months of 2020. No players accounts on the online platform were affected.

According to reports, Raymond was formally charged at the Saint-Jérôme courthouse last week. Represented by his lawyer, Christine Brosseau, he was accused of fraud of more than $5,000 against players and the company, unauthorised use of a computer, possession of personal information, and breach of trust by a public officer.

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What Investigations Revealed

The police received a warrant to investigate the matter in August last year. They discovered that someone, possibly Raymond, accessed the accounts of approximately 30 players’ gambling accounts and transferred funds with an estimated total of $20,000. His activities didn’t arouse suspicion initially, as most of the accounts he targeted were inactive.

The evidence presented in court showed that Raymond conducted criminal activities at the company for years. The earliest of it was dated 2017, although as mentioned above, the bulk of it’s from early to mid-2020. The criminal activities stopped the day after Raymond left the company in May last year.

Loto-Québec’s head of public affairs, Marison Schnorr said that the verification systems and other control mechanisms that form part of the gambling website’s security helped identify the suspect. He explained that company notified the police as soon as site security detected suspicious activity linked to Raymond’s account. Schnorr added that none of the online platform’s customers were affected by the breach.

Gambling Company Tackling Crime

The gambling company undoubtedly would sigh with relief if the incident involving Raymond was the only criminal activity it had to act against. In addition to that case of fraud, the company is trying to tackle future potential money laundering activities at casinos in the province.

Loto-Québec met with the police department to discuss the matter, and both agreed to better communicate with one another when investigating dirty money. The company introduced other measures as well, such as the ability to nullify player’s loyalty points and cancel their casino memberships, and to ban players deemed high risk.

The company also determined to fight against adverts for illegal online casinos that appear on several TV channels. The company reportedly said the adverts confuse players, who assume those sites are part of its licensed and regulated offerings.

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