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WOW, TALK ABOUT ADDICTION: Woman stole $2.3M to buy lottery tickets

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This is not the kind of jackpot one Long Island woman probably had in mind.

The former bookkeeper for a doctors' office pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree grand larceny, admitting she stole more than $2.3 million that she used to buy lottery tickets. Prosecutors, who described the bookkeeper as having a gambling addiction, said the woman spent as much as $6,000 a day playing various lotto and scratch-off lottery games.

"She spent most of it to feed her pathological addiction," said Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.

Annie Donnelly, 38, of Farmingville, faces 4-to-12 years in prison when she is sentenced on Sept. 20, for stealing the money from her employers — Great South Bay Surgical Associates. Donnelly, who is being held on $150,000 bail, also will have to repay the stolen money.

Other than to admit her crime, Donnelly made no other comments during her brief appearance before state Supreme Court Justice Robert Doyle.

A telephone call to an office manager at Great South Bay Surgical Associates seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Assistant District Attorney Donna Planty said that between June 2002 and November 2005, Donnelly wrote company checks for cash, petty cash, or checks payable to herself and then falsely listed them as payments to vendors associated with the medical office.

The average check was for less than $3,000 and Donnelly wrote them in oddly-numbered amounts instead of round numbers to avoid being caught, prosecutors said. She also would "move money around" to different accounts within the business ledgers to elude discovery.

Most of the lottery tickets were purchased at a greeting cards store near her home.

The stolen money was discovered when a bank called one of the physicians to say his checks were bouncing. In the first year Donnelly stole $41,261 from the office. Each year, the thefts increased, with Donnelly stealing $1,381,927 in 2005.

In all, more than $2.3 million was taken, Planty said.

"She obviously had a gambling problem," Planty said. "She appeared to be caught up in the high of winning."

Planty said investigators believe Donnelly may have won some small jackpots of $5,000 or even $25,000, but it was never enough to cover the amount she had stolen overall.

Defense attorney George Vlachos declined to speak with reporters outside the courtroom.

AP

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33 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by four4me.
Page 1 of 3
bellyache's avatar - 64x64a9wg

United States
Member #12618
March 18, 2005
2060 Posts
Offline
Posted: August 23, 2006, 3:48 pm - IP Logged

Yeah, I think she has a gambling problem. I can't believe that she got away with over 2 million dollars before being caught. I guess she did a good job of hiding her theft.

Dance like no one is watching.

    liberal47's avatar - Rowlf
    Holt MI
    United States
    Member #2244
    September 4, 2003
    69 Posts
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    Posted: August 23, 2006, 3:53 pm - IP Logged

    Yeow! 6k a day, that makes me feel real good about my 10 dollar a day habit.

      Raven62's avatar - binary
      New Jersey
      United States
      Member #17843
      June 28, 2005
      49618 Posts
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      Posted: August 23, 2006, 3:55 pm - IP Logged

      She Gambled (Twice):
      1. Stole from her Employers
      2. Bet on Games of Chance

      and Lost (Thrice):
      1. The Games of Chance
      1. Her Freedom
      2. Must Repay the Stolen Money

        undress's avatar - Lottery-061.jpg
        roseville, MI
        United States
        Member #5980
        July 30, 2004
        18205 Posts
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        Posted: August 23, 2006, 4:09 pm - IP Logged

        Wow....would of been better off....taking 2.3 million and live on an island some where.....lol lol .....some people's kids...lol

        Mad ALL IN!Mad

          Avatar
          Coastal Georgia
          United States
          Member #2653
          October 30, 2003
          1866 Posts
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          Posted: August 23, 2006, 4:11 pm - IP Logged

          This is really sad...

          She should have called the gambling addiction hot line a long time ago.... 

           

          If you need to win you need to quit, as the saying goes.....

           

          DD

           

                                         

                        

           

           

            RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
            mid-Ohio
            United States
            Member #9
            March 24, 2001
            19816 Posts
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            Posted: August 23, 2006, 5:52 pm - IP Logged

            This woman didn't have a gambling problem, she had a stealing problem and was stupid to boot.  Why would any reasonable person steel $6000 to buy scratch-off lottery tickets that probably didn't have a $6000 prize even on a winner and if it did, they would have to pay out $1000 of it in taxes.

             * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
               
                         Evil Looking       

              Avatar
              Coastal Georgia
              United States
              Member #2653
              October 30, 2003
              1866 Posts
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              Posted: August 23, 2006, 5:59 pm - IP Logged

              This woman didn't have a gambling problem, she had a stealing problem and was stupid to boot.  Why would any reasonable person steel $6000 to buy scratch-off lottery tickets that probably didn't have a $6000 prize even on a winner and if it did, they would have to pay out $1000 of it in taxes.

              You are correct about the stupid part, but I disagree about the gambling problem. If gambling wasn't the problem, why then did she not just spend it on something else, like cars, jewelry, trips, etc.... ?

               

                                             

                            

               

               

                justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                Wandering Aimlessly
                United States
                Member #25360
                November 5, 2005
                4461 Posts
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                Posted: August 23, 2006, 7:04 pm - IP Logged

                Yeow! 6k a day, that makes me feel real good about my 10 dollar a day habit.

                YEOW!  $10 dollars a day?  That makes me feel better about my $10 a week habit.  Smiley

                "Planty said investigators believe Donnelly may have won some small jackpots of $5,000 or even $25,000, but it was never enough to cover the amount she had stolen overall."

                 

                Oy!  So this means that a woman who spent over $2.3 million playing didn't win a big jackpot?  Not too encouraging for someone betting $500 to $1,000 a year.

                  RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                  mid-Ohio
                  United States
                  Member #9
                  March 24, 2001
                  19816 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: August 23, 2006, 7:29 pm - IP Logged

                  YEOW!  $10 dollars a day?  That makes me feel better about my $10 a week habit.  Smiley

                  "Planty said investigators believe Donnelly may have won some small jackpots of $5,000 or even $25,000, but it was never enough to cover the amount she had stolen overall."

                   

                  Oy!  So this means that a woman who spent over $2.3 million playing didn't win a big jackpot?  Not too encouraging for someone betting $500 to $1,000 a year.

                  Maybe she should have come to LP and got some advice on how to win, there's people here who claim with the right system and enough money one can make a profit.  Or she could have bought a premium memberships and spent $50 (fantasy money) per day per over 100 different lotteries and lost a lot less. 

                   * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                     
                               Evil Looking       

                    justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                    Wandering Aimlessly
                    United States
                    Member #25360
                    November 5, 2005
                    4461 Posts
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                    Posted: August 23, 2006, 7:46 pm - IP Logged

                    So if someone wins with stolen money, does she get to keep the prize money?  What if she did win a big jackpot and then was convicted of theft?  Wouldn't this be similar to using another person's credit card to play the lottery?

                      Avatar
                      GARNER, NC
                      United States
                      Member #2573
                      October 21, 2003
                      18 Posts
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                      Posted: August 23, 2006, 8:06 pm - IP Logged

                      That makes me feel better about my 6 dollars a week habit.  It is a game of chance, it only takes one ticket to win!

                        fja's avatar - gnome1

                        United States
                        Member #91
                        January 19, 2002
                        11906 Posts
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                        Posted: August 23, 2006, 8:24 pm - IP Logged

                        So if someone wins with stolen money, does she get to keep the prize money?  What if she did win a big jackpot and then was convicted of theft?  Wouldn't this be similar to using another person's credit card to play the lottery?

                        If it was my money and she won with it I would have settled out of court for about half the jackpot,  anybody wonder about 2  million plus disappearing, this guy had to be making 10 times that much to not miss it .. regardless of how she cooked the books

                          Litebets27's avatar - power
                          Maryland
                          United States
                          Member #10465
                          January 14, 2005
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                          Posted: August 23, 2006, 9:08 pm - IP Logged

                          If it was my money and she won with it I would have settled out of court for about half the jackpot,  anybody wonder about 2  million plus disappearing, this guy had to be making 10 times that much to not miss it .. regardless of how she cooked the books

                          I was wondering the same thing, that and I wonder how many other people are stealing from this company. It sounds like it's as easy as stealing candy from a baby.

                          litebets

                          Feeling,  PRICELESS!!!Banana

                          Come on Jackpot!!!

                            Avatar

                            United States
                            Member #10720
                            January 23, 2005
                            933 Posts
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                            Posted: August 23, 2006, 11:07 pm - IP Logged

                            One thing to be very thankful for: IF YOU WERE NOT THE POOR PERSON STANDING IN LINE BEHIND HER waiting to play your $6 or $10! I'm known to wait 15 or 20 minutes for someone playing "only" $100.