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Associated Press, Published June 25 2012

Minnesota store clerk charged with lottery fraud

MINNEAPOLIS — A Hopkins convenience store clerk is accused using validation codes from lottery scratch tickets to cash in winners before they were sold.

Thirty-four-year-old Mourad Zahi of Hopkins is charged with state lottery fraud, gambling cheating and attempted gambling cheating.

Zahi is accused of “micro-scratching” or revealing a tiny portion of the ticket that contains the validation code that determines if a ticket is a winner.

The investigation began last September when a scratch-off player told the lottery he had a winning ticket for $15 but was told he had already cashed it. Investigators tracked the ticket to a store where a large number of tickets were being manually validated, even though the process has been replaced by barcode scanning.

The Star Tribune (http://bit.ly/LXq3TX) reports Zahi was due in court Monday.


Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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