Charles Strutt, 63, the executive director of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) ever since it was founded in 1987, was stripped of his title and relieved from his duties in October 2015 by the group's board, which includes directors of lotteries in 37 states and territories in the US.
This "quiet" decision of change in leadership was made days after the prosecutors declared that their investigation of the jackpot-fixing activities by Eddie Tipton, the association's ex-security director, had expanded all across the nation.
Even if their decision was not immediately made public and their website still showed that Strutt is the executive director, according to an October 15 email provided to The Associated Press via an open records request, the board chairman Jeff Anderson (who is also Idaho Lottery Director) told the board members that Strutt had been sentenced on an indefinite administration leave, and that Bret Toyne, his longtime deputy was appointed as interim executive director.
Eddie Tipton was convicted of fraud in July for conspiring with associates to try to claim a fixed Hot Lotto game, with the jackpot worth to be $16.5 million. It was Strutt who testified for the prosecution, stating that he believed that the person on the video who was buying the winning ticket in Des Moines was no other than Tipton himself.
Investigators believe that Tipton used (and abused) his access to the association's RNG (random number generator) machine to find out what are the winning number combinations in advance, from which he and his associates played those numbers and shared the jackpot prizes.
More evidence was discovered on October 9 by investigators, showing that Tipton worked with others to fix jackpots and claim prizes which were worth millions of dollars not only in Wisconsin and Colorado, but also in Kansas and Oklahoma.
The games hosted by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MSLA) include the following: 2 by 2, All or Nothing, Hot Lott, MegaHits, Mega Millions, Powerball, and Wildcard. According to their website, "The Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) is a non-profit, government benefit association that is owned and operated by its member lotteries. Profits are retained by the individual lotteries and legislatures overseeing the lotteries determine how the money is spent. Formed in 1987, MUSL's first multi-state game was "Lotto America". The game ran four years before being replaced. On April 22, 1992 the first "Powerball" drawing was held. Since then, "Powerball" has become the number one lottery game in the United States."
The headquarters of MUSL is in West Des Moines, Iowa, where it is currently leading the prosecution of Eddie Tipton, the former security director of MUSL.
Tipton strongly denies the allegations and is scheduled to face his second trial in January 2016. Meanwhile, MUSL replaced the machines he worked on and strengthened their security measures.