Shocking Testimony from Longtime Friend of Defendant in Lotto Fraud Trial

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Some shocking testimony was heard by jurors on Wednesday in the trial of a former lottery employee charged with committing fraud to win more than $16 million.

One of Eddie Tipton’s longtime friends says he became sick when he saw surveillance video of Tipton allegedly buying a lottery ticket. The gripping testimony came from a man who is a former colleague of Eddie Tipton, a man who is also Tipton's neighbor, and has known him for many years. Ed Stefan worked as the Chief Information Officer and Chief Security Officer for the Multi-State Lottery Association, also known as MUSL. Stefan described his reaction to watching the video of the purchase of the winning hot lotto ticket at a QuikTrip on December 23, 2010.

When asked by Assistant Iowa Attorney General Rob Sand, “did you have a physical or emotional reaction to watching that video?” Stefan answered, “I did, um, I was literally, literally sick to my stomach. I could not…I could not stand erect after watching the video.” Sand continued questioning Stefan about his reaction to the video, saying, “You used some colorful language when you were interviewed by the DCI about your reaction. Do you recall telling them it was like finding out your mother is an ax murderer?” Stefan answered, “I do recall that.” Sand continued, “Or like finding out your best friend died?” Stefan answered, “Very similar, yes.”

The prosecution is trying to establish that Tipton is the man in that video buying the lottery ticket. Meanwhile, the defense is trying to raise doubts about that in the minds of the jurors.

Tipton’s defense attorney, Dean Stowers, questioned Mr. Stefan on the stand, saying, “…you had a different description (of your reaction to watching the video) when you were under oath on March 31…”

Stowers approached Mr. Stefan on the stand and showed him a transcript of that interview with DCI, and said to Mr. Stefan, “and the question was, and so when you were initially watching this, at this point, you didn’t, and no thought occurred in your brain that this was Mr. Tipton, correct? And what was your answer?” Mr. Stefan responded by saying, “My answer is, that is correct. And continues to be, that is correct.”

Mr. Stefan went on to try and clarify, saying as a disinterested third party, he would look at the man buying the ticket on the video and say ‘oh that’s Eddie,’ but as someone who’s known Eddie for half of his life and has had a friendship with him, it is incredibly difficult to believe and say ‘that’s Eddie Tipton.’

52 year-old Tipton of Norwalk is charged with two counts of fraud.