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A friend of a lottery winner pleaded not guilty to lottery fraud after being accused of falsely cashing a winning scratch-off ticket worth $50,000. A man hailing from Fort Dodge was charged with one count of lottery fraud, a Class D felony classified as forgery or theft of a ticket, for converting in a lottery ticket that actually did not belong to him.
As per the accusations, Skyler Sturgis Hay, 29, committed the offense, back in 2018, when he visited lottery headquarters in Clive with friend Nicholas Martin Hanson, 41, to claim a prize to his winning scratch-off ticket worth $50,000. The ticket actually belonged to Hanson, who owed a number of debts, including Child Support Recovery, college student loans, taxes to the state of Iowa, and to a number of other entities. Hanson reportedly took Hay's help in claiming the $50,000 prize to avoid paying off the debts that he owed. It's one of the reasons that state lottery imposes strict laws and requires the identity of the winner upon claiming a prize to check the existing debts, including taxes and child support organizations.
On September 12, 2018, Hay successfully claimed Hanson's winnings from the Iowa Lottery. According to the documents, proceeded by the court Hanson has spent the majority of the winnings on luxury items, events, and substances, a vacation to Las Vegas, tickets to a Minnesota Vikings game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, signed football jerseys, a 65" Phillips Smart T.V. and illegal narcotics including but not limited to marijuana. According to some of these documents, Hanson had tried to recruit other individuals to help him collect the winnings before he turned up to Hay.
And Hay was charged with lottery fraud in February. The Jury trial is all set to begin on June 29 at the Webster County Courthouse.
On the other hand, Hanson was charged with ongoing criminal conduct, a Class B felony, in 2019, as well as other Class C money laundering charges in addition to lottery fraud and substance possession. The jury trials on his accusations on April 6 at the Webster County Courthouse.
These are the reasons, The Lottery Lab encourages responsible playing and warns on potential lottery scams time and again.
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