Loto-Québec Suffers Security Breach Prologue: Loto-Québec, the provincial government run lottery agency has reported that it suffered a serious security breach and have confirmed that unauthorized access was made to the personal information of around 3.6m players. The company is not aware of any affected player that has won a prize, nor has the breach resulted in the unauthorized transfer of any funds.

Loto-Québec Suffers Security Breach

Quebec’s permanent anti-corruption unit recently discovered a security breach at Loto-Québec. Martin Raymond, a computer analyst from Terrebonne, was involved in a fraudulent scheme when he abused his position at an online gaming center and used his access to players’ accounts to embezzle money over several years.

Raymond, 37, was formally charged Wednesday before the Saint-Jérôme Court of First Instance with various offences relating to his illegal activities. He is charged with breach of trust towards a government official, fraud of more than $5,000 Canadian dollars towards a gambler and a government company, possession of personal information and unauthorized use of a computer.

Allegations of fraud

According to the evidence presented, Mr. Raymond used his access to client accounts and information to extort money from both the players and the state agency. There are examples of this activity that relate to 2017, but most of the evidence relates to 2020. The suspect was not present in court this week as he was represented by his lawyer Christine Brosseau, who declined to comment on the case.

From the information that has come to light so far, it appears that the embezzlement amounts to approximately 20,000 Canadian dollars. The investigation revealed that the accounts of about 30 players had been hacked. Because some users did nothing, an employee was able to access and transfer funds undetected before the anti-corruption unit became aware of it.

Court documents show that the investigation has been going on for almost a year. On the 19th. In August 2020, police obtained a search warrant for Mr. Raymond, who had left Crown Corporation in May 2020. The criminal activity ceased the very next day, which is a strong indication that the suspect may have been involved in illegal activities.

Marisol Schnorr, director of public relations for Loto-Québec, briefly explained that no customers of the online platform were affected by the break-in. Using the platform’s multiple monitoring and authentication systems, the site’s security team quickly identified the suspicious activity on Raymond’s account. The prosecution then immediately contacted the police.

Combating illegal gambling

The Crown Corporation had a lot of work to do recently when the agency decided to crack down on advertising for illegal online casinos that aired on several television stations. Crown is waging a fierce battle against illegal casinos, as they attract the majority of the company’s customers. The agency recently claimed that the ads are confusing and lead players to believe that they are part of Crown’s legal and officially regulated offering, which is not the case.

Money laundering regulations

Loto-Québec is also looking at how to stop money laundering in the province’s casinos in the future. Following discussions with the police, the two agencies have decided to cooperate better in investigating black money cases. In addition, Crown can now ban high-risk players, as well as revoke casino memberships and cancel loyalty points.

Source: Larouche, Vincent accused of fraud in Loto Quebec, Toronto Star, 8. July 2021.

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