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Ironman Triathlon Screwed Athletes Out of Millions ... Government Says

5/13/2015 7:32 AM PDT

Ironman Triathlon -- Screwed Athletes Out of Millions ... Government Says

Breaking News

The company behind the Ironman wasn't just running triathlons ... they were also running a giant scam that screwed athletes out of millions of dollars ... so says the U.S. Government.

Here's the deal ... officials say the World Triathlon Corporation was breaking the law when it charged wannabe triathletes a $50 fee for an entry into a lottery to be selected to participate in an Ironman World Championship race. 

Between 2013 and 2015, THOUSANDS of people paid the fee ... in hopes of landing one of the 100 open spots. BTW, if you were selected, you still had to pay an additional $850 entry fee!!

Well, the Department of Justice in Florida believed the scheme violated the state's anti-lottery laws -- which forbids companies from profiting off "illegal gambling businesses."

Now, the government says it has ordered WTC to forfeit all of the proceeds it has earned from the scheme since 2012 to the U.S. government ... totaling $2,761,910. 

For its part, the government says WTC fully cooperated with the investigation. 

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