Woman Sentenced in Million-Dollar Fraud Case - Casino Reports
Woman Sentenced in Million-Dollar Fraud Case – Casino Reports

This week, a Quebec court ruled that the 45-year-old Yuan Wang has been served a suspended sentence and probation for three years over charges of a number of gambling-related scams. She was reportedly involved in a series of schemes at several gambling halls in Ontario and Quebec in the summer of 2018, including Niagara Fallsview Resort.

Back in 2018, the Niagara Investigations Unit of the Ontario Provincial Police Investigations and Enforcement Bureau, attached to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, conducted an inquiry after it was discovered that a number of frauds and attempted frauds occurred in Ontario and Quebec gaming properties. These were similar to previous incidents in Alberta and B.C.

The Scheme

His defrauding attempts included a casino patron sending one of the casinos a copy of a bank draft from the National Bank of Canada. The property would verify the drafts, and at that time a person pretending to be a bank employee would confirm the documents were authentic. These funds would be then deposited and the individual then withdraw it from the casino in chips and cash.

The gaming establishment would be later alerted that the drafts were fake, but by that time the money would be long gone. In August 2018, Ms. Wang filed a digital copy of a bank draft to Casino Lac-Leamy in Quebec in the amount of CA$500,000. She then proceeded to withdraw the funds from the casino. She was arrested in early 2019 along with Daud Srosh from Brampton.

Judge Rosemarie Millar commented Ms. Wang's sentence should be similar to the sentence given to similar offenders. She explained the court believed a suspended sentence with a probation order would be a suitable sentence. A sentence individualized for the accused's situation and a sentence in accord with the one received by a co-accused and another fraudster noted the judge.

Defence lawyer Leonardo Rossomano remarked his client had lost almost CA$3 million in gambling over five years and her addiction largely affected her life. The had also previously joined in a self-exclusion program, therefore, she was not allowed at Ontario casinos, which led her to Quebec. She was ordered to pay the casinos CA$125,000 in restitution.

Ontario Casinos Handle Over CA$372M in Shady Transactions

In May 2023, a report discovered that over CA$372 million in suspicious transactions had been made across Ontario gaming properties in 2022. One of those transactions includes a of more than CA$4 million made over several years by Branavan Kanapathipillai. He made a large cash buy-in at Pickering Casino Resort in 2022, which was reported by staff.

However, the news raised some concerns in the province. Cal Chrustie, a former RCMP investigator who was involved in money laundering and transnational investigations, shared his expertise on the issue. His guess is that in many of the cases, large sums of cash were acquired illegally. He noted that the numbers were significant but until every transaction is fully examined by an investigation it would be hard to tell.

Source: Langley, Ashley “Casino scammer loses in court” Niagara Falls Review, September 14, 2023

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Woman Gets in Legal Trouble over False Lottery Claim - Casino Reports
Woman Gets in Legal Trouble over False Lottery Claim – Casino Reports

A Lotto Max jackpot from Ontario worth CA$70,000,000 is again making the headlines, as an Ontario gets in because of it. This was reported by the Ontario Provincial Police and now the 33-year-old North Bay woman will face criminal charges for filing a fake for the prize to the Ontario and Gaming Corporation.

At the start of June 2023, OLG started a campaign to find the missing winner of a Lotto Max ticket worth CA$70 million dated to June 28, 2022. Its initiative saw plenty of individuals submitting claims about the mega jackpot. The ticket was sold last year in Toronto, but its winner never came forward meaning that the ticket could have been lost.

Currently Not Related to the Missing Jackpot Winner

However, it has not been confirmed to be directly linked to the expired jackpot from June 28, 2022. In the middle of July 2023, the Ontario Provincial Police reported that members of the OPP's investigation and enforcement bureau, related to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario got information from OLG about a ticket claim for the mega jackpot.

After that, the North Bay woman was charged by the province with attempting over CA$5,000, forgery and uttering a forged document. It was also reported that the woman has now been released from custody but she is not yet out of the woods as she is set to appear in court at a later date and hear her verdict from a judge.

It should be noted that the OLG or the police have not confirmed that the claim made by the woman has been in connection to the unclaimed CA$70-million Lotto Max prize sold on June 28, 2022. OPP's Bill Dickson said he cannot confirm if that was the , as anything so specific will become evidence in court. Meanwhile, the investigation is still underway.

Jackpot Remains Unclaimed

According to provincial lottery protocols, a player has up to 52 weeks from the date printed on a ticket to cash out a prize. The deadline for the jackpot worth CA$70,000,000 from the June 28, 2022 draw arrived a year later. However, according to the OLG, the ticket was never validated at one of its OLG terminals across the province.

Shortly after its campaign to find the big winner, OLG revealed that after its announcement about the unclaimed ticket, it received more than 1,100 calls from people who claimed to have lost the ticket. The Crown corporation noted that it was committed to finding the correct ticket holder and to always awarding the correct prize to its players.

It also noted that due to the high number of lost ticket claims, one of its dedicated teams of lottery investigators would need to take the necessary time to review all of the made claims before the deadline of June 28. After a thorough process of assessment has been conducted by its experts, the Crown will provide further updates on the winning.

Source: Rocca, Ryan “Woman claiming to have won $70M Lotto Max prize facing criminal charges: OPP” Global News, August 9, 2023

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