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Former Iowa Lottery employee charged for thefts

Iowa LotteryIowa Lottery: Former Iowa Lottery employee charged for thefts
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A former Iowa Lottery employee was arrested after an investigation found she stole lottery tickets from stores and a bar in the Fort Dodge area, according to officials and court records in the case.

Toni Hammer, 49, of Alta, was charged with seven counts of lottery fraud and one count of tampering with records. Hammer worked as a district sales representative in the lottery's Storm Lake office and was responsible for delivering tickets to stores, said Mary Neubauer, a spokesperson for the lottery.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation launched a probe after Iowa Lottery staff identified a discrepancy in records involving some lottery retail locations in northern Iowa. The Lottery's Division of Security conducted an internal review before requesting a criminal investigation.

The investigation found that Hammer stole lottery tickets from two Fort Dodge businesses: a bar called Cricket's Lounge and a Hy-Vee Drugstore, according to criminal complaints filed in Webster County District court. Hammer also stole tickets from a convenience store in nearby Duncombe, according to complaints.

The ticket thefts happened over a three-day period between January 7 and January 9, according to the complaints. In one instance, Hammer stole a $5 ticket from the $5,000 Bonus Game from Duncombe Gas and Grocery that was found in her work vehicle during the investigation, a complaint said.

One complaint says Hammer stole a $10 ticket from the Snow Globe Tripler game that she scratched and redeemed for $20 at a Casey's General Store a week later. On that same day, Hammer redeemed another stolen ticket from the same game for $30 at a Casey's in Alta, the complaint says.

Hammer worked for the lottery from 1997 until February 25 and made $57,693 in her last full year of employment, Neubauer said. The state placed Hammer on its do-not-hire list on April 2, according to a database released to The Des Moines Register.

Neubauer declined to speak in detail about how lottery officials uncovered the record discrepancies that led to the investigation. However, lottery officials are satisfied that the security procedures in place worked in this case, she said.

"We work hard to have safeguards in place to be on the lookout for anything unusual in the system," she said. "We need to stay on top of things that go on within the lottery system so we can catch situations."

The lottery does not think any other employees were involved in stealing tickets with Hammer, Neubauer said. Hammer was released with supervision from the Webster County Jail this morning after a hearing, according to online court records.

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Des Moines Register

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12 comments. Last comment 5 months ago by llucky19.
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New Member
Richmond Texas
United States
Member #81193
October 13, 2009
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Posted: June 1, 2014, 8:51 am - IP Logged

Hey am I missing something? or is Iowa purposely withholding information? What is her reasoning behind stealing $5 and $10 tickets on her salary and how would the store know one single ticket is missing....What?

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    Keokuk,Iowa
    United States
    Member #116508
    September 12, 2011
    305 Posts
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    Posted: June 1, 2014, 8:52 am - IP Logged

    A former Iowa Lottery employee was arrested after an investigation found she stole lottery tickets from stores and a bar in the Fort Dodge area, according to officials and court records in the case.

    Toni Hammer, 49, of Alta, was charged with seven counts of lottery fraud and one count of tampering with records. Hammer worked as a district sales representative in the lottery's Storm Lake office and was responsible for delivering tickets to stores, said Mary Neubauer, a spokesperson for the lottery.

    The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation launched a probe after Iowa Lottery staff identified a discrepancy in records involving some lottery retail locations in northern Iowa. The Lottery's Division of Security conducted an internal review before requesting a criminal investigation.

    The investigation found that Hammer stole lottery tickets from two Fort Dodge businesses: a bar called Cricket's Lounge and a Hy-Vee Drugstore, according to criminal complaints filed in Webster County District court. Hammer also stole tickets from a convenience store in nearby Duncombe, according to complaints.

    The ticket thefts happened over a three-day period between January 7 and January 9, according to the complaints. In one instance, Hammer stole a $5 ticket from the $5,000 Bonus Game from Duncombe Gas and Grocery that was found in her work vehicle during the investigation, a complaint said.

    One complaint says Hammer stole a $10 ticket from the Snow Globe Tripler game that she scratched and redeemed for $20 at a Casey's General Store a week later. On that same day, Hammer redeemed another stolen ticket from the same game for $30 at a Casey's in Alta, the complaint says.

    Hammer worked for the lottery from 1997 until February 25 and made $57,693 in her last full year of employment, Neubauer said. The state placed Hammer on its do-not-hire list on April 2, according to a database released to The Des Moines Register.

    Neubauer declined to speak in detail about how lottery officials uncovered the record discrepancies that led to the investigation. However, lottery officials are satisfied that the security procedures in place worked in this case, she said.

    "We work hard to have safeguards in place to be on the lookout for anything unusual in the system," she said. "We need to stay on top of things that go on within the lottery system so we can catch situations."

    The lottery does not think any other employees were involved in stealing tickets with Hammer, Neubauer said. Hammer was released with supervision from the Webster County Jail this morning after a hearing, according to online court records.

    News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

    She only netted $50.00.Crime doesn't pay!

      mrcraft's avatar - images3lp4 zps7dbb4a10.jpg
      Los Angeles, California
      United States
      Member #149499
      December 2, 2013
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      Posted: June 1, 2014, 1:56 pm - IP Logged

      That's crazy.  She threw away her job and future by stealing a few tickets.

        mypiemaster's avatar - peace
        He who dies with the most toys WINS!!!.

        United States
        Member #141039
        April 2, 2013
        722 Posts
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        Posted: June 1, 2014, 2:02 pm - IP Logged

        Ms. Hammer was probably hammered when she stole the tickets. The Judge might send her to the slammer where opportunities to get hammered will be severely limited. Ms. Hammer got released from jail on supervision and she can go home now and really get hammered. Come to think of it, a pee test will do her no justice for she will forever remain Hammered.

        Seekand ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

        Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

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          Portland, OR
          United States
          Member #145978
          August 20, 2013
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          Posted: June 1, 2014, 7:04 pm - IP Logged

          I'm so shocked...

          "Understand... people are more complicated than the masks they wear in society... everyone is playing to win, and some people will use moral justifications to advance their side"

                                                                                                                                                                    Robert Greene

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            New Member

            United States
            Member #155887
            June 1, 2014
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            Posted: June 1, 2014, 9:39 pm - IP Logged

            Illinois needs to do some investagation.  It always seems odd how the Chicago area always wins.

              RedStang's avatar - mustangshow zps61f7119e.jpg
              Dutchess NY
              United States
              Member #121966
              January 21, 2012
              2740 Posts
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              Posted: June 1, 2014, 11:01 pm - IP Logged

              That's crazy.  She threw away her job and future by stealing a few tickets.

              Yup and she probably had a good pension coming to her too.

              The lottery winner dance. 

                1977's avatar - flower2
                st. pete
                United States
                Member #6680
                September 3, 2004
                1178 Posts
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                Posted: June 2, 2014, 3:33 pm - IP Logged

                Hey am I missing something? or is Iowa purposely withholding information? What is her reasoning behind stealing $5 and $10 tickets on her salary and how would the store know one single ticket is missing....What?

                YES INDEED SOMETHING MISSING FROM THIS STORY!!!!!!

                  1977's avatar - flower2
                  st. pete
                  United States
                  Member #6680
                  September 3, 2004
                  1178 Posts
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                  Posted: June 2, 2014, 3:36 pm - IP Logged

                  Did she know which book of tickets had a big winner in it....mmmmmmm

                    1977's avatar - flower2
                    st. pete
                    United States
                    Member #6680
                    September 3, 2004
                    1178 Posts
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                    Posted: June 2, 2014, 3:42 pm - IP Logged

                    That's crazy.  She threw away her job and future by stealing a few tickets.

                    Did she have a mental break after seeing people win all  the time at work...?????? you can't figure out crazy,that for sure!!!

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                      Keokuk,Iowa
                      United States
                      Member #116508
                      September 12, 2011
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                      Posted: June 3, 2014, 7:52 am - IP Logged

                      Did she have a mental break after seeing people win all  the time at work...?????? you can't figure out crazy,that for sure!!!

                      Not in Iowa,she didn't.I quit playig scratch off tickets in Iowa because the best I could do was to get "break even" tickets,buy a dollar ticket,win my dollar back,buy a $2 ticket and win my $2 back,but I'd get a hell of a lot more losing tickets.I do better on scratcher tickets in Illinois & Missouri,both only a mile away.

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                        New Member
                        Philadelphia
                        United States
                        Member #156334
                        June 15, 2014
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                        Posted: June 15, 2014, 9:03 pm - IP Logged

                        but was any of the tickets winners? lol