DES MOINES, Iowa -- The brother of a man convicted of fraud for rigging a lottery game in Iowa has been charged for his alleged connection to the case and other rigged jackpots in more states.
Officials with the Iowa Division of Public Safety say Tommy Tipton, of Texas, has been charged with ongoing criminal conduct. He was booked into the Polk County Jail Wednesday morning after surrendering himself to authorities but has already bonded out.
In a criminal complaint, investigators say Tommy Tipton was part of a criminal network that won six fixed lottery jackpots in five separate states. Those states are Colorado, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas, and Wisconsin. They say his brother Eddie Tipton, who worked at the Multi-State Lottery Association, rigged several computers responsible for choosing the randomly generated winning numbers – which allowed him to know which numbers the computer would choose.
During the investigation into Eddie Tipton, Wisconsin Lottery officials discovered a friend of Eddie Tipton’s, Robert Rhodes, had claimed a jackpot using an LLC for a ticket bought in Wisconsin. The LLC was paid $783,257.72.
The computer used to do the drawing had not been erased or destroyed and a forensic examination found code on the computer that made it possible for Eddie Tipton to know what the winning numbers would be before the drawing.
Iowa Assistant Attorney General Rob Sand said, "The Wisconsin Attorney General and the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation are due credit for these welcome developments in electronic evidence."
Investigators say Tommy Tipton convinced other people to claim jackpots for him in Colorado and Oklahoma, in exchange for a cut of the winnings. He told those people he and his wife may be headed for divorce and he didn’t want his wife to know about the money.
Eddie Tipton was convicted of two counts of fraud in July of 2015 for his actions in trying to claim a $16.5 million winning HotLotto ticke. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He has also been charged with ongoing criminal conduct.
The investigation continues.