Court Orders Man Resentenced in Lottery Scam
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) _ Pennsylvania’s state Superior Court overturned two sentences against a man who pleaded guilty in 1988 to forging a bogus lottery ticket so he could win an unclaimed $15 million jackpot.
The court said in an opinion issued Thursday that it agreed the five- to 10-year concurrent sentences against Henry Arthur Rich on conspiracy and forgery charges were ″an abuse of discretion.″
The court ordered Rich to be resentenced on the charges.
But it left intact a two- to four-year sentence for theft by deception and a one- to two-year sentence for unlawful use of a computer. Rich worked for a computer firm used by the Pennsylvania Lottery.
In an appeal, Rich argued the conspiracy and forgery sentences exceeded guidelines set by the state, and the judge failed to provide an explanation for the deviation as required during sentencing in December 1988.
Michael Moyle, a spokesman for the state attorney general, said the decision was under review. He said the office might appeal to the state Supreme Court or wait for the resentencing.
During trial, prosecutors said Rich searched for high-value, unclaimed tickets in the lottery system and printed a near-perfect copy of a winning ticket from a July 1987 Super 7 jackpot.
After forging the ticket, authorities said, Rich enlisted Mark S. Herbst, a former video store clerk, to turn in the ticket. The lottery awarded the first installment, nearly $470,000, but officials detected the scam after noticing the ticket was not from the location where it had been sold.
Herbst, after pleading guilty to theft by deception and other charges, was sentenced to a two- to four-year term.