The man who hired lawyers to submit a mysterious, winning lottery ticket two hours before it was to expire has until Friday to explain where it came from, ABC News said.
Crawford Shaw of Bedford, N.Y., sent the ticket by Federal Express to a Des Moines law firm, which submitted it to Iowa lottery officials to claim the multi-million dollar prize.
The $16-million jackpot draw was held Dec. 29, 2010, but nobody came forward until a year later. What complicates the matter further is that Shaw signed the ticket on behalf of Hexham Investments Trust. His attorney suggests there’s nothing untoward happening, even though he misspelled Hexham (leaving out the second ‘h’) on official documents.
Lawyer Julie Johnson McLean told Associated Press her client is only representing the trust and has no financial claim to the prize.
“I believe it’s a valid claim,” McLean said. “Given the media inquiries, I think it seems natural that someone may be hesitant to seek all the publicity that seems to be generated.”
Iowa lottery officials have notified the state attorney general’s office and criminal investigators of the case. They want to know what happened to the ticket over the last year, and that no “prohibited” players purchased it (such as lottery or agent employees).
Shaw, 76, has so far not co-operated. Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said he has no trouble cancelling the ticket — worth $7.5-million cash or $10.3 million annuitized over 25 years after tax.
"This is a classic example of what a prohibited player may do to go about claiming a prize," Rich said. “We’re saying, ‘Show us the story and we’ll show you the money.’”
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Shaw faces fraud charges in Delaware and Texas, the AP said, and was involved in a bankrupt chemical company caught in stock manipulation.
Investors such as the Methodist Church and an Ohio teachers’ fund lost $100 million when the company collapsed.
A woman who knows Shaw said he manipulated her to gain information in a $2.3-million lawsuit against the company, Industrial Enterprises.
“Crawford Shaw, he’s just as crooked as can be. I wouldn’t trust anything that he’s said,” Elizabeth Calomiris told AP. “He lied to me a lot. He’ll say anything to get what he wants.”
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