Retailer charged with fraud 3 years after ticket allegedly stolen
Four Ontario lottery players received their $5.75 million prize, plus interest, yesterday, three years after their winning lottery ticket was allegedly stolen and cashed in by a retailer.
For years, Lorraine Teicht, Paul Carlisi, and sisters-in-law Silvana and Aurora Pincivero, four friends who all worked for the Toronto Catholic District School Board, had pooled their money to buy weekly lottery tickets using the same numbers.
But at a party in February 2006, the Pinciveros and Carlisi made a shocking discovery when they punched their regular numbers into an Ontario Lottery Corp. website and discovered their numbers in the winner’s column for 2004.
At first they hired a private detective to find out if the fourth member of their ticket-buying group had pocketed their millions behind their backs, but then began to investigate a convenience store where the clerk allegedly told Teicht the ticket was worthless, says a source familiar with what transpired.
Eventually, convenience store owner Hafiz Malik was arrested and charged with two counts of fraud, one of theft and one of possession of stolen property.
Yesterday, Malik, 60, appeared in court and was freed on $60,000 bail.
Then, in the afternoon, the lottery corporation cut a cheque and presented it to the four original winners, who were understandably ecstatic.
“I was shocked but was very excited at the same time,” said Aurora Pincivero. “Maybe now I can finally take my kids to Disney World. This is a dream come true — really.”
Complaint in July