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Gravesend shopkeeper guilty of scamming lottery-winning syndicate

PUBLISHED: 17:32 27 March 2013 | UPDATED: 17:32 27 March 2013

A Gravesend shopkeeper has been found guilty of trying to con a lottery syndicate out of nearly £80,000.

Imran Pervais, 26, of Milton Road in Gravesend, was convicted Maidstone Crown Court today (27) after he was found guilty of fraud by false representation following the two-day trial.

The court had heard that Pervais, who was working at Moores Convenience Store in Mackenzie Way, misled the syndicate group into thinking they had won £10 rather than the £79,887 they should actually have scooped after matching five numbers and the bonus ball.

The victim, who puts on 28 lines a week as part of a syndicate with work colleagues, had entered the store on May 18 last year to check four lottery tickets that had been purchased the week before.

He was told by Pervais that one of the tickets had registered a £10 win, during which time another winning slip was being printed.

The victim said: “What’s that? Another tenner?” Pervais was said to have replied: “Yes.”

Having been told he had won £20 in total, the victim used the winnings and a further £8 to purchase another 28 lines for the next draw.

It was only when the man returned to work and checked the numbers that he realised one of the lines had matched five numbers, which would earn a prize of £1,000. He went back to the store and put this to Pervais who told him to return in a couple of hours so he could check the shop for the ticket.

The court then heard that the man checked the numbers again and realised the bonus ball on that line had also been matched, registering a near £80,000 windfall.

He went back to tell Pervais and demanded to be shown the ticket. He was given a number of bin bags to check through before being invited, about 10 minutes later, to look behind the counter. Some wooden plinths were removed from the back of the counter, revealing a number of pink winning slips and a screwed-up lottery ticket. It was the victim’s winning lottery ticket.

Camelot launched an investigation and found that all four tickets had been scanned, including the one with the significant prize. A matter of minutes later the winning ticket was scanned again and a lottery results sheet printed out which would indicate how many numbers had been matched.

Pervais denied double scanning the winning ticket and was subsequently arrested on June 15.

Investigating officer, Det Con Angela Costin, said: “Pervais was placed in a position of trust and he abused that trust in an attempt to make a significant monetary gain for himself. He also denied this from the outset and sought to con this syndicate out of a considerable amount of money.

“It was down to the victim’s organisation of his syndicate paperwork that led him to discover that he had matched five numbers and the bonus ball.

“Many people put their trust in shop staff and ask them to check lottery tickets on their behalf; I hope this sends out a clear message to members of the public to check the tickets themselves.”

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