Sept. 5, 2018 (Courtesy of CTVnews.ca ) – Three family members who won nearly $12.5 million on a free lottery ticket they had duped a customer at their variety store out of were sentenced Tuesday.
Jun-Chul Chung was sentenced to seven years in prison. His daughter, Kathleen Chung, received a four-year sentence, while son Kenneth Chung was sentenced to 10 months in jail.
All three were found guilty last year of stealing lottery tickets from customers at Kenneth Chung’s variety store in Burlington, Ont.
Court heard that Jun-Chul and Kenneth Chung took tickets that won free lottery plays for themselves, without telling the tickets’ rightful owners about the prizes.
One of those free tickets won a jackpot in 2003, which Kathleen Chung claimed. The Chungs then used their winnings to finance what police described as a “lavish lifestyle,” purchasing homes and expensive vehicles.
The Chungs weren’t caught until 2010, when they were caught up in an investigation of “insider” jackpot wins.
Once the duplicity came to light, OLG tracked down the rightful owners of the winning ticket and paid them nearly $15 million, to account for interest.
The lottery agency also launched a civil lawsuit against the Chungs in an attempt to recover the money, and changed its rules to prevent similar frauds by forcing retailers to return lottery tickets to their owners after validating them.
Jacqueline An, the lawyer representing the family, said Jun-Chul Chung is appealing his conviction and will be out of custody on bail pending the outcome of the appeal.