Lottery cheat is fined

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A newsagent who defrauded National Lottery "Instants" customers by selling them scratch cards that he knew had no chance of winning was fined pounds 5,000 yesterday.

In the first prosecution of its kind, Parmjit Singh Gill, 41, of Sunny's Newsagents in Window Lane, Garston, Liverpool, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two specimen charges of obtaining pounds 1 by deception by falsely representing that a customer was being sold a possible winning card.

Kim Egerton, for the prosecution, told Liverpool magistrates that Gill had exposed the "void if removed" window on Instants tickets and entered the number on his lottery computer terminal to check if it was a winning ticket. "If it was a winner he would buy the ticket and keep the winnings. If it wasn't he would sell the tickets." He was caught when a customer complained to the lottery organisers Camelot.

Camelot said it was pleased with the trial's outcome.

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