Ft. Pierce lotto scam netted $100k a week

Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

FORT PIERCE, FL (WFLX) - More than a dozen men and women are behind bars after, police say, they were running a lottery scam. Fort Pierce Police say nearly $17,000 in cash was seized.

Detectives believe several businesses were working together running an illegal lottery scam. They believe it was going on for years, and this operation netted more than $100,000 a week.

"Mostly, what's shocking is the community is ok with this. That they figure this is a victimless crime, and that it's just a little old man going in to buy a lottery ticket. When, as a result of this, we often find violent crimes where robberies will occur," said Lt. Thomas Smith.

The investigation began with an anonymous tip and spanned three weeks. Detectives say it focused on "Bolita," a type of lottery which began in Cuba.