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Court: Ore. police can seize $1M lottery prize

Thursday - 7/12/2012, 12:45pm  ET

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - The Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled that a southwestern Oregon city's police department can collect a $1 million cash prize originally awarded to a woman who authorities say bought a scratch ticket through illegal means in 2005.

The Mail Tribune reports ( 45-year-old Christina Elizabeth Goodenow argues stripping her of the winnings was excessive punishment.

In 2005, Goodenow stole the identity of her boyfriend's deceased mother and used her Visa card to make $12,000 in purchases, including the winning lottery ticket. She pleaded no contest to the crimes and was sentenced to probation.

As part of her sentencing, the lottery money was forfeited to the Medford Police Department. Police agencies in Oregon can collect money gained through criminal activity.

Goodenow, in an attempt to keep her winnings, filed an appeal in 2007.

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