The trial of 11 people accused of rigging a lottery draw in the Dominican Republic will begin on December 20. Members of the group were able to steal around $8.5 million because of the rigged May 2021 draw. 11 people are facing charges of fraud, money laundering, bribery, corruption and breaching of trust. They could be sentenced to between 10 and 15 years in prison.
The Dominican Republic realized something wasn’t right with the lottery draw last year. Getting the trial going has been difficult, but it is now.
The trial of the perpetrators is scheduled to start on December 20. The 11 were accused of fraud in a National Lottery draw by the Public Ministry last March.
Members of the group were able to steal around $8.5 million because of the rigged May 2021 draw. From the beginning, there were indications of something odd and who might have been behind the crime.
The heads roll from the top to the bottom
Luis Maisichell Dicent was the former National Lottery administrator. He, along with several coconspirators, have been in jail since then to make sure they didn’t try to flee.
Four co defendants with lesser roles received house arrest for their involvement. Three other people have been on bond, but have had to report periodically and have been forbidden from leaving the country.
There will be a trial in absentia for one of the coconspirators. One of the top organizers, called Nazareth Medina Arvelo, fled the country immediately after the fraudulent draw.
11 people are facing charges of fraud, money laundering, bribery, corruption and breaching of trust. Depending on the role they played, they could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. Financial penalties are likely as well.
The doctor cleans up gambling
The Dominican Republic is trying to restore the public’s faith in the lottery. It wants to get rid of its gambling industry as a whole. It has been cracking down on illegal lottery sales and betting parlors.
That promise has been fulfilled. At least 96 slot machines were crushed with a bulldozer by the Prosecutor’s Office of the Judicial District of the province of Duarte, together with the National Police and local officials.
The prosecutor of the province, Smaylin Rodriguez, reported that the slot machines were seized during different raids in the province. The slots were demolished in order to show that the government is serious about ridding the country of illegal gambling.
The officials said that the operations were successful because of the commitment of both residents and neighborhood and community organizations. A concerted effort by more people is leading to more warnings and raids across the country.