Auditors inspecting frequent lottery winners to prevent fraud

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania’s top watchdog will be looking into frequent lottery winners in the state and whether enough is being done to prevent fraud.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced on Wednesday his performance audit of the state’s Department of Revenue will include a review of frequent lottery winners.​

The Pennsylvania Lottery is a bureau of the Department of Revenue.​

The announcement comes as several states have started to aggressively track high volume lottery prize claimants. That includes a Massachusetts man who pleaded guilty earlier this year to running a scheme that ended with him cashing more than 7,300 tickets, worth $10.8 million.​

The audit will evaluate the effectiveness of the department’s regulations, policies, and procedures to prevent and monitor for fraud, abuse, or other prohibited activity by lottery winners and retailers.​

“My main goal is to protect older adults who rely on lottery-funded benefit programs. If players or retailers are committing fraud, the Pennsylvania Lottery has a duty to catch them and take action and inform appropriate law enforcement officers, so if anyone is doing that, those individuals can be held appropriately accountable,” DePasquale said.​

Officials with the Pennsylvania Lottery say they have met with the Auditor General in the past, including to discuss lottery protocols in place to investigate fraud allegations.​

“We will work with the Auditor General and his staff again to make sure they have the necessary information to conduct a thorough audit,” said Ewa Dworakowski, Press Secretary for the Pennsylvania Lottery. “The Department of Revenue and the Pennsylvania Lottery have many security safeguards in place to ensure that we carry out our mission, which includes the Lottery’s main objective of responsibly generating funds for programs that benefit older Pennsylvanians.”​

The Auditor-General did not give a timeline for when he expects the audit to be completed.​

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