Their proverbial forty days are over…
Fourteen years and more afterward, a GTA family has been sentenced in a theft scandal involving an insider lottery ticket, where they gained a fortune of $12.5 million.
Kenneth Chung, who ran Burlington’s Variety Plus and Jun Chul Chung his father, who was a part-time employee there, were this week found responsible for stealing lottery tickets in the course of eight months (up to February 2004).
Jun-Chul Chung, Kenneth Chung his son, and Kathleen Chung his daughter took part in a lottery ticket scandal in 2004, which saw the family acquire $12.5 million.
A sentencing was passed on the father for stealing the ticket that won $12.5 million. He was found guilty with Kathleen Chung his daughter, who made a false claim of the winnings, possession of stolen goods and swindling OLG.
The three were set free on an accusation that they attempted to hide the cash in South Korea offshore bank accounts.
‘In my opinion, it is certain that the proof shows a conspiracy to obtain free play lottery tickets by stealing,’ wrote Justice Douglas Gray, the Superior Court Justice in Ontario this week, in his long judgment. Their plan worked and they won the jackpot.
The ruling indicated that the computer system of OLG indicated the Lotto Super 7 ticket that won can be tracked to a sequence of four tickets bought by one individual, possibly Dan Campbell, on 19 December 2003 in St. Catharines. Each of the four tickets was examined at Chung’s variety shop three days afterward, leading to five free play tickets.
However, Campbell was just offered four of them and after this, all of them were collectively confirmed in St. Catharines, ruled the court. The fifth, which was examined at Chung’s store was the winning ticket.
Gray said, ‘I believe that only one sensible deduction can be made. Jun-Chul Chung retained the free play ticket that won after he confirmed each of the tickets on 22 December 2003. Doing this means he stole the ticket from its lawful owner.
On 5 February 2004, Kathleen Chung visited Toronto’s OLG prize office to claim the prize of $12.5 million. At first, she refused to admit that Kenneth Chung was her relative at the store in Burlington and stated she was unable to recall where she purchased the first ticket.
After that, she revealed to officials of the lottery that her brother was a manager of the Burlington store. Now she admitted the possibility of having purchased the ticket near St. Catherine’s while distributing products for her dad’s company.
OLG had their doubts; nevertheless, they presented the money to her in December 2004.
Much of the cash was moved to Seoul after this, which was her aunt’s area of residence, ruled the court. It is believed that the money was utilized to buy multi-million dollar mansions in Thornhill and Oakville and a number of luxury vehicles also.
This home in Oakville is one of a couple of houses bought with the winnings from a lottery scam in 2004 where Jun-Chul Chung, Kenneth Chung his son and Kathleen Chung his daughter were involved. It was the judge’s conclusion that it wasn’t possible that the winning ticket belonged to her.
All through, Kathleen Chung has told untruths regarding how she bought the first ticket and the verification of the winning ticket’, stated the judge.
‘Other than the computer records from the OLG, her mobile phone, Visa and banking records indicate that it was not possible for her to have been at the place she claimed she was at the pertinent periods. It is apparent that she told lies to the personnel at OLG about being the ticket’s lawful owner and how it came to be in her possession. She was aware that it was a stolen ticket.’
But, her brother was absolved of all charges connected to the winning ticket when the judge discovered that the Crown had not provided undisputable proof of Kenneth Chung’s presence at his store at that time or was certain that it was stolen.
The Chung case gained fame as the most astounding illustration of crooked store clerks falsely making claims of lottery prizes worth millions in a report of 2007 by Andre Marin, a former Ontario Ombudsman. He blamed OLG for being ‘too relaxed’ with its retailers and providing ‘lottery insiders’ with payment of $100 million.
After protests from the public, the OPP started enquiries and accused the Chungs in 2010. In the meantime, the ticket’s lawful owners, Campbell and his six buddies who all worked on a construction site in Burlington claimed the significant payout and interest one year after this.
OLG refused to talk about the verdicts ‘since we are now in the trial’s sentencing part.’
Tony Bitonti, the spokesman also refused to remark on the lawsuit of the agency to recover the $12.5 million.
‘It is crucial to keep in mind that the assets of the accused have been frozen already via the criminal court procedure,’ he stated. ‘Currently, the civil suit of OLG is suspended for the time being until when the criminal trial procedure is finalized.’
Sentencing is due in September.