The Ottumwa Courier

AP Iowa

October 8, 2013

Lottery jackpot probe heats up after immunity deal


Many theories have been floated about what happened. Perhaps the ticket was stolen after the winner bragged about the jackpot. Maybe the winner did not want to be linked to the money due to illegal activity and tried to sell the ticket to someone else. Or a foreign criminal syndicate bought the winning ticket and illegally scalped it for cash.

Investigators have said that gas station surveillance video shows a person purchasing the ticket, but that footage has been withheld from the public so as not to jeopardize the investigation. Meyers said investigators still do not have a positive identification of the buyer, but that, "We have a potential party that may be able to help us identify that subject."

Meyers said the immunity agreement with the person of interest in Canada was reached with help from the Iowa Attorney General's Office. He said it was appropriate because investigators were certain the man was not the prime suspect and all other efforts to obtain his cooperation had been exhausted. Investigators also had little leverage since he was in another country, he said.

"We had to put forward an agreement that would motivate him to cooperate," Meyers said.

Anderson has recently been reassigned as part of a routine transfer within DCI, but Meyers said Anderson was kept as the lead investigator due to the complexity of the case. Anderson's knowledge was "very valuable" during the interview in Canada because he knew which questions to ask, Meyers said.

Meyers said investigators are seeking to conduct additional interviews with "an array of other parties" who may be involved. But he also cautioned they've had promising leads in the past that hit dead ends.

"The developments are positive," he said. "Yet at the end of the day, we don't have resolution and it continues to be an ongoing investigation."

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