Shop Manager Jailed for Lottery TheftMarch 21st 2022 12:16
An Indian shop manager living in the UK has just started a 28-month jail sentence for cheating a retired delivery driver out of his lottery winnings. Narendra Gill, who runs a newsagent in a shopping centre in Leeds, England, was asked by 81-year-old Frank Gowland to check his lottery ticket numbers for him that he had purchased in her shop. On discovering that Gowland’s numbers were a match to win him £130,000 (Rs 1.3 crore), Narendra then lied to him and said that his tickets were worthless, and kept them for herself.
The mother of two, who has Punjabi roots, admitted to fraud and theft in Leeds Crown Court, and received her prison sentence after being told by the judge that her act was “unbelievably cruel. People who work in these places need to hear the message that you cannot abuse your position when it comes to dealing with millions of pounds. Trust is so important".
According to Frank, he gave Narendra 8 tickets to check, which she did, saying they were all losers. She then switched his tickets with discarded tickets, crumpled them up, and handed these worthless tickets back to him.
The company that currently runs the UK Lotto, Camelot, became suspicious of Narendra after she phoned up to claim the win and the organisers heard her serving customers in the background. She then lied by saying that although she worked at the shop that had sold the winning ticket she had been gifted it by a customer and did not know where the ticket had been bought from.
Camelot then alerted the police, who then identified the real holder of the ticket, Frank Gowland from CCTV footage of him driving away from the White Rose Shopping Centre with his wife, Sue."The whole thing has been quite a shock," Gowland said. “I had no clue I'd won until I got this phone call. I couldn't hear what the police constable was saying so I asked my stepson to deal with it. He said to the officer, 'You must be joking, this is a scam'. Anyway, it wasn't and I had won!”
After finally receiving his win, Frank said, “It has certainly helped to make life a bit more comfortable. I bought a new car, cleared all my debts and gave quite a bit of money to my family. We've had new carpets and we're getting a walk-in shower for my wife, who has health problems," Narendra admitted before her sentencing, "Obviously, I wish I had not done it. It was stupid." The shop in question has since closed.
Written by Andrew Thomas