More arrests tied to lottery scheme

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

Two arrests were made in Chicago Wednesday of people thought to be associated with an international lottery scheme being investigated locally by Iola Police Sgt. Bob Droessler.
Iolan Darrell L. Kinney, arrested in June for burglarizing an area dog kennel, was identified in early July as a participant. Kinney, in custody at the Allen County Jail, became implicated in the lottery scheme after Droessler was told by Wal-Mart employees Kinney had been involved in what they described as suspicious financial activities through the company’s Money Gram service.
Kinney wired money to accounts in Jamaica, including one for $63,000, Droessler said.
The investigation quickened when Droessler was contacted by authorities in Arlington, Mass. They thought Kinney had conned an 83-year-old woman into thinking she had won the lottery. The woman reportedly paid out $193,308 to claim a phony prize, according to a report in the Arlington Advocate.
As part of the investigation, Droessler searched Kinney’s home, 716 N. Walnut, and found documents related to the money transfers.
Droessler said five victims had been identified — in Massachusetts, California and Virginia — and that others were likely scammed. He is investigating a report of a local person who may have been fleeced.
“Four of the victims lost about $600,000 altogether,” he said. “The fifth victim has been reluctant to give a figure.”
Droessler said he was working with authorities in states where the victims lived, but to date had been unsuccessful in getting assistance from federal agencies. Federal intervention would put more resources into the investigation, he noted.