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Computers seized in Lottery investigation

Dec 19, 2003, 3:14 am

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Colorado Lottery

Agents from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation seized computers from the state Lottery office this week, as part of a larger investigation into the Lottery.

Investigators with CBI and the Arapahoe County District Attorney's Office took computers out of the building on Colorado Boulevard, as well as the Lottery headquarters in Pueblo earlier this week.

They say they are reviewing numerous issues having to do with the lottery. This criminal investigation comes after the Department of Revenue had already started its own internal inquiry into the lottery. The Department of Revenue is investigating potential employee misuse of funds and travel expenses.

Lottery Director Mark Zamarripa resigned on Nov. 12, the same day he was to meet with Department of Revenue Chief M. Michael Cooke about his travel expenses. Zamarripa says he retired and Cooke says she never got a chance to sort out the questions about expenses because Zamarripa left his job before they could meet.

Cooke told 9NEWS on Thursday that her investigation is a department-initiated inquiry that's been going on for some time. It involves Zamarripa's expenses and other issues that came to her through anonymous tips from Lottery employees. She said the state auditors routine performance audit also pointed to areas of concern dealing with expenses and oversight.

So far, Cooke says no action has been taken against any Lottery employees.

As for the criminal investigation, investigators say it has just started and they are looking into similar issues.

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