From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Judge Throws Out Fraud Charges in Lottery Case: U.S. District Judge John Heyburn in Bowling Green, Ky., dismissed criminal fraud charges against a former executive with lottery giant GTech Corp. and a former top Kentucky official. The judge called some practices by GTech--which provides computer and other services to most of the country's state lotteries--"part of an unusual way of doing business, to say the least" but ruled that no crime had been committed. James David Smith, former national sales manager for GTech, and L. Rogers Wells, former Kentucky finance secretary and secretary of the executive cabinet, were accused of setting up a corporation to accept brokerage payments from GTech and splitting the money. Documents showed Wells paid some of Smith's creditors. The prosecution's case collapsed after testimony that GTech routinely pays companies owned by influential people across the country who do no actual work in return, and that company officials knew about the practice.

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