Industry Reports

Former Edmonton Convenience Store Manager Goes to Prison for Massive Lottery Fraud

A manager of an Edmonton-situated convenience store got a 12-month imprisonment sentence after being convicted for a lottery fraud which took place for a year. In addition, the man, whose name is Hassan Karim Choudhry, will have to pay back a total of CA$257,799.

The 32-year-old convenience store manager heard the sentence following his guilty plea in March to fraud exceeding CA$5,000.

Mr. Choudhry has faced charges with a lottery fraud which was taking place for a period of 12 months, from September 2012 to September 2013, in the convenience store where he worked at the time and which was deliberately left unnamed. At the time when the police have been investigating the crime, it became clear that the convenience store manager manipulated the accounting system of the store for lottery payouts estimated at a total of CA$524,000. Police officers further revealed that Choudhry was paying out lottery tickets, which had not even existed, to himself.

The fraudulent scheme was reported to the police by the man’s employer in October 2013. The man, who was fired from his job, faced the criminal charges in September 2017, four years after the fraud took place.

Lottery Frauds Become More Common in Canada

As mentioned above, the alleged and now proven half-million-dollar lottery fraud was carried out for a year, between September 2012 and September 2013.

The payouts amount accounted for more than half a million Canadian dollars, with the former convenience store manager manipulated the accounting system of the store in order to pay out non-existent lottery tickets to himself.

“Just due to the volume of files we have here, we didn’t get to it right away so it sat for a while before we are able to work with it. And then we had to get a lot of document actually, to show what he’d actually done.” – Jerry Sobchyshyn, Economic Crimes Section Detective

Choudhry was fired as soon as his employer found out about the fraud and reported it to police in October 2013. Charges against the former convenience store manager, however, were pressed in September 2017.

Lottery frauds have become quite common in Canada over the last few years. According to a 2007 Ombudsman report, lottery insiders got an amount of approximately CA$100 million under suspicious circumstances, with such fraud cases reflecting the relationship between OLG and its retailers, which he described as “too cozy”.

The beginning of September saw another large-scale lottery scam end up with an imprisonment sentence for the Chung family, with them being charged with stealing lottery tickets, a large-scale lottery fraud and possession of stolen property. The father, Jun-Chul Chung, got a seven-year imprisonment sentence, his daughter, Kathleen Chung, got four years in prison, and his son, Kenneth Chung, would be sent to prison for ten months, for their wrongdoings carried out over an 8-month period to February 2004.