The former CEO of The Weather Lottery (TWL), Keith Milhench, together with another former employee, Amie Pickersgill-Smith, have been jointly charged by Nottinghamshire Police with seven counts of fraud and four charges of theft totalling £80,000 against the company.
The charges relate to the alleged misappropriation of jackpot payments to lottery winners between April 2008 and April 2010, when both Milhench and Pickersgill-Smith worked for TWL.
The matter was referred to Nottinghamshire Police following an investigation by the UK Gambling Commission. Nottinghamshire Police have confirmed that no one else connected with TWL is suspected of any wrongdoing and that they are satisfied that the alleged victims have been identified.
Milhench was CEO of TWL until September of last year when he resigned from the role, citing “ill health” and an inability to carry on with his duties. Milhench formed Lottery Service Providers Ltd in 2000, which performed all of the administrative duties for TWL, serving as its managing director. He was later appointed CEO of TWL in April 2006.
In TWL’s most recent financial results, the company stated that Milhench was a director of CBI Holdings Limited, parent company of Cantbuyit Limited. During the course of last year, TWL made payments of £5,950 on behalf of Cantbuyit and at the end of the year was owed £9,450 from the company. The amount has been provided for as “irrecoverable” as at July 31st 2010, although the company said it will pursue repayment.
TWL also stated that Milhench received loans of £17,940 from the company, all of which were outstanding at the year end. Milhench received 4,800,000 share options in TWL during the last financial year, worth £48,000.
Both Milhench and Pickersgill-Smith will appear before Nottingham magistrates on January 24th.
TWL confirmed that its Gambling Commission license to operate as an External Lottery Manager, held by Prize Provision Services Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company, remains in place having been renewed last October.