Six plead guilty to lottery fraudby Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Six of the eight individuals charged by the Ramsey County Attorney's Office in March with lottery fraud have entered guilty pleas, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
Between December and January, officials from the Minnesota State Lottery's security office and the Department of Public Safety's Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division conducted compliance checks at retail locations, but not everyone passed.
At each location, agents presented a specially constructed lottery ticket that appeared to be a winner and asked the clerk to verify that it was a winning ticket. Of 186 stores visited, retail clerks at five stores did not return the ticket to the agent, but attempted to claim the prize at lottery headquarters.
According to authorities, three of the individuals have been convicted of felonies, and the other three have each received one-year diversions. Officials said the convictions are part of an ongoing effort to protect players and ensure lottery integrity.
Jaideep Singh, Asgaralli Ali and Jairam Shiwmangal each face lottery fraud and conspiracy felony convictions, three to five years probation, and community service and fines.
Majdi Almadien, Susan Hanna and Harpreet Virk each received a one-year diversion.
"We believe these convictions are appropriate, and that coupled with ongoing compliance checks they send a clear message to retailers to maintain integrity in these games," said John Willems, director of the gambling enforcement division.
Of the remaining defendants, Mohamed Ahmed is scheduled for trial in September, and Nancy Youseff remains at-large and a bench warrant has been issued.