Article published on 14 October 2013

Family Charged with $7m Canadian Lottery Fraud

Police Charge Lotto 6/49 Fraudsters
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Canadian police have confirmed the arrest of a retired Niagara Falls city worker and his daughter, for trying to defraud a group of lottery players following a $7 million jackpot win.

The police say that 64 year old Frank Galella, who was part of the syndicate that won the Lotto 6/49 jackpot in July this year, gave the winning ticket to his daughter, Joanne (34), and the two conspired that she would claim the ticket as her own.

The objective was to defraud the 10 other members of the winning lottery syndicate.

Charges of Lottery Fraud

The police first got wind of the Gallela family's attempts to defraud the syndicate winners after being informed by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation who received a tip off.

The father and daughter were arrested and charged with fraud over $5,000, as well as false pretenses over $5,000. In addition, Frank Gallela faced an extra theft charge of over $5,000.

They will appear in a St. Catherines, Ontario court at the end of November.

The July 31st Lotto 6/49 draw resulted in a $7,036,047 win for the 11 syndicate members.

Changes to Lotto 6/49

But the Canadian lottery fraud is not the only reason why the Lotto 6/49 is in the news. Lotto 6/49 marks its first month of price and prize changes.

Last month, the cost of Lotto 6/49 tickets climbed from $2 to $3 - the first price change in nearly 10 years.

However, with a price increase also came a greater chance of winning, with a guaranteed $1 million prize on each draw. Jackpots on Lotto 6/49 now begin at $5 million, with a new free play prize which can be won by matching just two out of six numbers.

Some of the bigger Lotto 6/49 wins in the past year have included:

  • The retired couple, Robert and Madeleine Birrell who picked up $3.4 million playing Lotto 6/49 in May this year.
  • Monique and Bruce Willman who won $17 million in May 2013.
  • Richard Quinn of Ontario won $3.2 million after playing the lottery for over 30 years.
  • Mitchell Shuter of BC won $11 million in February. "I had to count all the commas to make sure I was reading it right and seeing millions, not thousands," he recalled.
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