Texas JP Under Suspicion of Participating in Lottery Fraud

Fayette County Justice of the Peace Tommy Tipton may soon be at the center of an investigation into Lottery fraud involving his brother Eddie Tipton.  JP Tommy cashed a $568,990 on a Colorado Lotto ticket he purchased in November 2005 – which would not have been a problem except for the fact that brother Eddie was running a cheat the lottery operation.  Eddie Tipton used his position as an official for the Multi-State Lottery Association to install a self deleting computer program to create a winning ticket for himself.  Officials are now wondering if JP Tommy’s winning ticket was on the up and up or was a part of his brother’s scheme. The Austin American Statesman has more.

An audacious, movie-worthy lottery rigging scandal that has rocked Iowa is now spreading into other states — including Texas. The Hot Lotto mess does not involve the state-run Texas Lottery. But officials have begun to look closer at a $570,000 winning multi-state lotto ticket purchased a decade ago by a Central Texas judge.

No charges have been filed against Tommy Tipton, Fayette County Justice of the Peace for Precinct 3, based in Flatonia. Records from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement show he has held a state peace officer license since 1986, and until two weeks ago worked as a reserve officer for the Flatonia Police Department.

Tommy is also the brother of a former official for the Multi-State Lottery Association named Eddie Tipton, who police say orchestrated a bold plan to rig lotto computers to select the numbers on jackpot tickets he’d purchased. Now, recently filed legal documents raise the question of whether Judge Tipton benefited from his brother’s scheme.

According to local media reports, Eddie Tipton’s scam began unraveling five years ago, when a New York lawyer tried to claim a $14.3 million Iowa jackpot only hours before it was set to expire. The attorney claimed to represent a Belize corporation, however, lotto officials refused to pay it out because state law requires a winning ticket’s purchaser and possessor to be identified. Later, others, including a Houston man who is a close friend of Eddie Tipton’s, also tried to collect on the ticket, which ultimately was never paid out.

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