To the people who wrote to Gillian Findlay in blue ink:
We are very intrigued by your letter but need to talk further.
Please get in touch with us: 416-205-6665
It all started with the story of an elderly man from Coboconk, Ontario who didn't give up when he suspected a store clerk of stealing his winning lottery ticket. Bob Edmonds' story
sparked our investigation into the high incidence of insider lottery wins by retailers. Now the fifth estate
has obtained new evidence that shows the Edmonds case was far from an isolated story.
Not an isolated case
Documents leaked to the fifth estate
show that in one year alone, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation
was dealing with five other cases of suspected retailer fraud. And one of them had to do with a Super 7 ticket worth 12.5 million dollars. The fifth estate
has learned that investigators at the OLG suspected the 22-year-old woman who tried to claim the prize of lying but paid her the millions anyway.
The OLG has long maintained the Bob Edmonds case was an isolated incident, but suspicious retailer wins became such a concern for the OLG that it decided to change its policy on insider wins. A decision was made to no longer consider retailers as insiders, so retailers would no longer be subjected to extra scrutiny.
New documents revealed
For this program, the fifth estate
obtained hundreds of pages documents. Some of those documents came from our requests under the Freedom of Information Act. Through those documents, we also learned that OPP Constable Al Lee, who investigated the Edmonds case, prepared a search warrant in 2004 alleging the OLG was obstructing his investigation. But Lee never got final approval, and the warrant never went ahead.
Bob Edmonds with his family in Coboconk, Ontario.
Edmonds died of cancer in April 2007.
Lee notified the OLG about his warrant, without specifically mentioning the obstruction allegation. Copied on one of his messages about the search was the OLG's head of security, Mike Sharland, a senior officer at the OPP who is currently on secondment to the OLG.
When we went looking for answers as to why the warrant was never pursued,
no one at the OPP or the OLG agreed to be interviewed for our program.
from OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino's office told the fifth estate Mike
Sharland had nothing to do with the warrant, but the OPP is reviewing his
secondment agreement with the OLG.
The afternoon of March 14, the same day the fifth estate
a update to the story, Mike Sharland resigned from the OPP. He will stay on
as head of security for the OLG.