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Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
  • Minnesota store clerk charged with lottery fraud

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


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  • MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — 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 Star Tribune reports 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the ticket to a store where a large number of tickets were being manually validated, even though the process has been replaced by barcode scanning.
    Zahi's court appearance was postponed until July 11. A man answering the phone at Zahi's address said he was unaware of the complaint.
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