Two Men Arrested For Attempted Lotto Fraud

By Ben Hamill - January 10 2020

Fraud Sign

Winning the Lottery is a stroke of luck not destined to befall everyone during their lifetime. People embrace a variety of good-luck superstitions and charms in an attempt to make those winning numbers drop and some have even claimed repeat-success at having “made” Lotto luck happen. Two Mississippi men however recently went too far in their quest of raking in the big money when they were arrested on charges of fraud after it became evident that they had tried to cash in on a “winning” ticket by having glued the winning numbers over the losing numbers on the ticket.

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Columbus residents Russell Sparks (48) and Odis Latham (47) were arrested by police at the headquarters of the Mississippi Lottery Corporation in Flowood towards the beginning of the second week in January, confirmed Mississippi Lottery Corporation top official and spokesperson Meg Annison. The Lottery scratch card prize money that the two men had tried to come by illegally by licking-and-sticking, amounts to some $100,000, confirmed Annison. 

Not A Very Good Forge Job

The dubious duo had unfortunately not done a very good job of it and the ticket that they were trying to cash in on was immediately identified as having been fraudulently tampered with. Lottery officials immediately contacted the local Flowood Police Department and the two alleged scammers were arrested on the spot shortly after.

Latham and Sparks were both arrested and charged with having conspired to commit a felony as well as having made use of a counterfeit instrument that exceeds the value of $1,000. In addition to the charges of conspiracy and indulging in counterfeit actions, Latham was also charged with having presented a falsified proof of identification.

No Original Crime

Latham and Sparks aren’t the first two people to have attempted an elaborate Lottery scam. Back in 2008, a resident of Toronto had supposedly tried to claim a whopping $675,000 by cashing in a falsified OLG “Cash for Life” Lottery ticket. The woman was eventually arrested and charged with forgery as a result of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation having launched investigations into all wins of which the prize money exceeds $10,000.

Another firm favourite in the world of dubious Lottery scams is that of retailers advising players that they had not won anything, and then proceeding to cash in on the winning tickets themselves. This unlawful practice was stopped short by the OLG’s over-the-limit investigations too.

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