Second man arrested in multimillion-dollar scheme to collect 2010 Hot Lotto jackpot


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DES MOINES, Iowa — A second man has been arrested in connection with a mysterious scheme to collect a multimillion-dollar Hot Lotto jackpot that was won in 2010.

The Des Moines Register reports ( ) Robert Clark Rhodes II, 46, of Sugar Land, Texas, has been arrested and authorities plan to bring him to Iowa to face fraud charges.

Officials worked for several years to identify the winner of the $14.3 million Hot Lotto ticket since a New York lawyer tried to claim the prize just before the one-year deadline in 2011.

Earlier this year, an Iowa man who worked for a lottery company was arrested. Authorities say Eddie Raymond Tipton violated state law when he bought the ticket because he worked for the lottery. Then he tried to get others to help him claim it.

Tipton has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors said that Rhodes was one of the people who filled out the lottery paperwork and hired the lawyer in an attempt to claim the jackpot.

When attorney Crawford Shaw tried to claim the jackpot with the winning ticket in his hands, lottery officials confirmed the ticket was valid. But they refused to pay because Shaw wouldn't name anyone involved with the purchase and handling of the ticket. Shaw later withdrew the claim and said he didn't know the winner's identity. Authorities have not said whether Shaw would face charges in the case.

"In the history of lotteries around the world, this was the largest prize that was later withdrawn," said Mary Neubauer, spokeswoman for the Iowa Lottery. "It just raised questions from the very start. Our lottery has never encountered anything like this before."

Prosecutors said Tipton failed to mention knowing Rhodes when investigators asked about people he knew in the Houston area. But phone records show Tipton and Rhodes had lengthy conversations, and Tipton worked for Rhodes from 1996 to 2003.

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