Spokane businessman acquitted of fraud charge in lottery winnings case

Spokane businessman acquitted of fraud charge in lottery winnings case
He was accused of defrauding a police chiefs family of lottery winnings. A Richland jury decided…
Scott K. Brett, a Spokane businessman who was charged with wire fraud by federal investigators more than two years ago in a case involving lottery winnings by an Oregon widow, was acquitted Friday by a federal jury in Richland.

Brett was accused of making false promises about investment opportunities for the woman and then failing to pay back about $855,000 she invested, according to court records. Brett had transferred the money into another account, said his attorney Scott W. Johnson, and successfully argued to the jury that he wasnt responsible for the loss of funds.

Scott never had the intent to defraud anybody, Johnson said. Brett argued at trial that he never had direct access to the money, and that another investor based in Texas had been the one to make the failing investments that led to a loss of the womans winnings. He did his best, and Scott Brett got scammed.

The alleged victim won $18.2 million with her husband in an Oregon Megabucks Jackpot lottery in 2003, according to Bretts 2016 indictment.

Brett originally had pleaded guilty to the charge, but later successfully petitioned a federal judge for a new trial after he argued he hadnt received adequate counsel. Brett had been facing four to five years in prison after pleading guilty to the crime.

Johnson said Fridays result showed that Brett was not a con man as investigators had suggested.

Brett maintained a home on Five Mile Prairie, and in the late 1990s was involved in a potential land deal that would have prevented development of a large subdivision. He was also involved in a tech company that sought to construct a green industrial park in a suburb of Nashville in the 2000s, a deal that also fell through after local lawmakers scrutinized the deal.

A man accused of defrauding the widow of a former police chief of her lottery winnings was found innocent by a federal jury in Richland on Friday.

The 12-person jury deliberated for less than three hours before unanimously finding Scott K. Brett innocent of wire fraud.

Brett had pleaded guilty in the case in January 2017, but then hired a new attorney — Scott Johnson of Richland — and withdrew his plea.

Brett said in court documents that he was responsible for losing some of the lottery winnings of Donna Anderson, the widow of former Hermiston Police Chief Andy Anderson.

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The Andersons won an $18.2 million jackpot in 2003. At the time, it was the third-largest prize in Oregon Megabucks history.

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