2 face Mass. lottery fraud counts

May 31, 2012 at 2:31 PM

BOSTON, May 31 (UPI) -- Two beneficiaries of the Massachusetts Lottery are accused of fraud in collecting welfare benefits after claiming winnings, a state auditor charged Thursday.

Auditor Suzanne Bump found that James T. Casey, Jr., of Waltham, Mass., did not inform welfare officials he cashed in more than $700,000 in winning lottery tickets since 2009, a period in which he collected $12,157 in benefits and $1,553 in food stamps, The Boston Globe said Thursday.

Frank Basile of Belmont, Mass., also collected benefits despite winning $316,000 over four years, the newspaper said.

"What we're looking at is people who consistently fail to report significant lottery winnings in order to claim a public benefit to which they're not entitled," Bump said, adding that her office is investigating about a dozen other lottery winners suspected of fraud..

Casey and Basile both face arraignment, and are suspected of being agents who redeem other people's winning tickets to help them avoid taxes or child support, typically keeping 10 percent of the winnings. The State Auditor's Office said it has been targeting lottery customers such as these for over a decade, the newspaper said.

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