After a year long investigation, the Ohio Inspector General has alleged that key figures at the Ohio Lottery Commission defrauded their employer on a massive scale.
The report from the Ohio Inspector General accuses six OLC Investigators of “theft of time” and a further OLC Investigation Supervisor, named John Hopkins, of “lack of supervision.” The six investigators appear in the report listed as Allen Travis, Andrew Harvey, Christopher Monda, Christopher Robakowski, Gregory Rightnour, and Robert Ellis.
These six men were allegedly filing time sheets for hours during which they had not worked. In order to get away with this, the men set up the OLC phone lines to forward incoming calls to their personal cell phones.
The Inspector General’s report says that, “the Office of the Ohio Inspector General determined that the OLC investigators were not routinely working on the gaming floor at Thistledown per their job descriptions. Many of their responsibilities were either completed by Thistledown staff or were not completed at all.”
The cost to taxpayers
The report suggests the fraudulent behavior may go back as far as 2013. A review of one 90-day period found the miscreants had stolen $30,000 from the OLC in one 90-day period. Extrapolating from that would give an estimated cost to the OLC of around $1.7 million.
The six alleged fraudsters worked at the Jack Thistledown Racino in North Randall, Ohio. The report takes care to point out that the OLC employed the six investigators, not work for the racino itself. The duties of the investigators at the racino include representing the regulator and providing help to problem gamblers.
Darrin Glencer, a part time employee of the OLC, gets the credit for informing on his colleagues to the Inspector General. Glencer also told the Inspector General that Hopkins was aware of the scam, but took no action to prevent or report it.
The Inspector General delivered the report to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. It will now be up to the county prosecutor to decide whether and how to press charges.
Featured image source: J. Stephen Conn, used under CC license.