BELLEVILLE, Ill., Feb. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In the wake of an explosive investigation conducted by the Chicago Tribune, retailers and purchasers of Illinois Lottery tickets filed a Complaint yesterday, February 6th, against the private manager of the Lottery, Northstar Lottery Group, LLC.
The complaint, filed by TorHoerman Law, LLC, alleges that Northstar defrauded businesses that sold scratch off lottery tickets and individuals that purchased the same tickets by manipulating the number of tickets available for purchase. It is alleged that Northstar did so by controlling the inventory of scratch off tickets for particular games and then ceasing the sales of tickets for those games before winning tickets had been sold.
The complaint alleges that Northstar designed and operated games so that when it calculated that a particular game was financially beneficial to its profit interests, it would stop sales of tickets for that game and actively collect tickets that had been sent to its vendors for sale. Northstar would then simply start a new game and the process would repeat with the new game.
"We allege that when Northstar realized that it was ahead of the consumer in a particular game, meaning it had sold a number of tickets that did not include the winner, it would stop the game and lock in its profits. The winning ticket never got sold," said Derek Brandt, one of the lead attorneys on the case.
Lottery profits have long gone to fund Illinois public schools. In 2010, the State of Illinois started collecting bids to "privatize" the management and administration of its lottery. Northstar won the bid with promises of increased profits to the State.
"It is not difficult to promise increased profits if your plan is to systematically ensure that purchasers do not buy winning tickets and your vendors do not sell winning tickets," said Tor Hoerman, another lead attorney for the plaintiffs.
Northstar was paid an incentive based on profits as well as other financial incentives. Recently, their contracts were terminated by Governor Rauner. Northstar continues to run the Lottery under the provisions of their contract until Illinois can find a suitable replacement.
The plaintiffs are Raqqa, Inc., a business that operates the Fairview Lounge in Fairview Heights, Illinois, and several individual lottery ticket purchasers. The plaintiffs seek to certify the case as a class action. The plaintiffs are represented by TorHoerman Law, LLC and Brandt Law, LLC.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/northstar-lottery-group-accused-of-defrauding-illinois-retailers-and-purchasers-of-lottery-scratch-off-tickets-300403187.html
SOURCE TorHoerman Law