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Elgin woman charged for trying to cash ‘winning’ Lotto ticket

LeandriWilliams. Photo/Cook County Sheriff's Office.

Leandria Williams. Photo/Cook County Sheriff's Office.

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Updated: May 2, 2012 8:05AM

A 28-year-old northwest suburban woman apparently purchased a Mega Millions lottery ticket just a few minutes after the drawing for the $656 million jackpot a month ago, playing the winning numbers that had been drawn in that game, then claimed to be a winner in that record-setting jackpot, authorities said.

Instead of collecting millions of dollars from that Mega Millions drawing, Leandria Williams has had to post $10,000 bail.

Williams, of Elgin, was indicted Monday on felony charges of attempted theft and forgery, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s office announced Tuesday. She also faces felony charges of wire fraud that was approved last week.

Williams is accused of falsifying documents in an attempt to claim winnings in the $656 million lottery that was drawn last month. On April 4, an investigator for the Illinois Department of Lottery alerted the Cook County Sheriff’s Police about a woman who came into the Lottery Claims Office in Des Plaines with a “winning” ticket for the Mega Millions that was drawn on March 30, a release from the sheriff’s office said.

Although at first glance it appeared that Williams had the correct documents needed to claim the prize, the Illinois Department of Lottery told the Sheriff’s Office that according to their system, there were three winners for the Mega Millions, and none were from the Chicago area.

Lottery logs produced from Northstar Lottery Group, a company affiliated with the Illinois Department of Lottery, showed the receipt for Williams’ purchased ticket was actually generated on March 30 at 10:08 p.m., which was eight minutes after the actual Mega Million numbers were drawn. Furthermore, Williams also had an email receipt that she produced to Lottery officials that appeared to have been altered, the release said.

Lottery officials informed Williams that she needed to fill out a claim form and that would be sent to Springfield for verification. Williams complied with the request, furnishing them with her allegedly fraudulent documents.

On April 16, investigators from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois Department of Lottery arrested Williams. Her bond was set at $10,000 during a hearing on April 18. She has been out on bail since then.

Her next court date is schedule for May 9 at the Criminal Courthouse.

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