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Lottery Winner's Lucky Day Turns into One Heck of a Mess

New York LotteryNew York Lottery: Lottery Winner's Lucky Day Turns into One Heck of a Mess

The lure of quick cash from someone else's winning lottery ticket now has three women facing some serious charges, after their alleged plan proved to be very unlucky.

Imagine you just found out you won $25,000 in the lottery. You get a receipt — but in your haste, you actually leave the ticket at the store. And when you got back, it is gone. Well, that is just what happened to a 24-year-old Tina-Marie Ware from Rensselaer. She kept looking and looking — and finally, needed the State Police to help unravel the mystery.

It began with a woman buying a series of New York State Lottery tickets, for the "Raffles to Riches" numbers game. Each cost $20. When she came to the Mobil "On the Run" in East Greenbush to see if she won, the clerk, Kirstin Von Borstel confirmed she had — $25,000. The winner left with a receipt, but not the winning ticket.

A short time later, she came back, talked again to the 20-year-old clerk, and then another clerk, 21-year-old Kelly Clifford.

"She was real adamant that 'we gotta' find that ticket, we gotta find that ticket, it's in the trash'," says Tom Beauter, who was in the store at the time. "I mean, would you go dumpster diving? For $25,000, I might...well yea, exactly."

Ware was adamant, so both she and Clifford actually jumped in to the dumpster, and pulled out bags, looking for the ticket. They did it not once, but twice.

"We had two clerks that worked in cahoots with each other that evening, and gave us some misinformation on where the ticket may have ended up," says Tom Constantine, with Red-Kap Sales, Inc.

Constantine is the regional manager and a former police officer. What he did not know at the time was that Clifford found the ticket. State Police say Clifford convinced Von Borstel to get her roommate, 30-year-old Tracy McCarty, to cash the ticket the next day and split the money — $18,000 after taxes. And when the real winner went to lottery headquarters, the plan was all but over.

"New York State Lottery and the GTECH, their parent security firm — it's impenetrable, there's no way that anyone's going to get away with cashing a lottery ticket of that sum and get away with it," Constantine says.

"All three of them spent the money very quickly, or put it in a bank account very quickly," says State Police Trooper Maureen Tuffey.

But police have only found less than $500.

"Very little bit right now has been recovered, though we do anticipate recovering just about all of it," Trooper Tuffey says.

Both clerks have been fired. State Police say they each got $7,500, and the roommate got $3,000 for her troubles. Clifford also faces drug charges. She was found with 54 hydrocodone pills and no prescription.

All three are due back in court next week.

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19 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by KY Floyd.
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Raven62's avatar - binary
New Jersey
United States
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June 28, 2005
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Posted: July 18, 2007, 12:25 pm - IP Logged

Stupid Is As Stupid Does!

They are what they did!

A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

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    Coastal Georgia
    United States
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    October 30, 2003
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    Posted: July 18, 2007, 1:55 pm - IP Logged

    Stupid Is As Stupid Does!

    They are what they did!

    And, as Ron White says : You can't fix stupid.

     

                                   

                  

     

     

      tnlotto1's avatar - logo
      nashville
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      February 18, 2007
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      Posted: July 18, 2007, 11:00 pm - IP Logged

      im glad they caught these thieves

        Avatar
        NY
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        October 16, 2005
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        Posted: July 18, 2007, 11:59 pm - IP Logged

        im glad they caught these thieves

        They're not thieves. They found an unsigned winning ticket that had been lost. Almost everyone here knows that makes them the rightful owners.

          sector46's avatar - image php?u=16565&dateline=
          New Member
          Clermont, FL
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          July 7, 2007
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          Posted: July 19, 2007, 12:56 am - IP Logged

          Well there you go . Woman Leaves $25,000 winning lotto ticket with store clerks DUHHH, what do you think is gonna happen ?  I think it's her own fault for getting herself into such a mess. Why would she leave a winning ticket THERE ? Makes no sense.

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            North Brunswick NJ
            United States
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            May 8, 2006
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            Posted: July 19, 2007, 9:18 am - IP Logged

            Well there you go . Woman Leaves $25,000 winning lotto ticket with store clerks DUHHH, what do you think is gonna happen ?  I think it's her own fault for getting herself into such a mess. Why would she leave a winning ticket THERE ? Makes no sense.

            Maybe she was taken hydrocodone pill.

              sector46's avatar - image php?u=16565&dateline=
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              Clermont, FL
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              Posted: July 19, 2007, 10:05 am - IP Logged

              I read the Clerk was caught with the drugs, not the ticket buyer     Stooges

                spy153's avatar - maren

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                Posted: July 19, 2007, 10:13 am - IP Logged

                I think they need to print in big bold letters "do not leave at store with the clerk if you have a winning ticket" so folks like me will not be fooled. Everytime I have a winning ticket they keep the thing. I would think they were suppose to keep that one too., but only if I got the MONEY in my hand in exchange. Not a receipt.

                voir-vous dans mes reves!Cool

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                  Delaware
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                  Posted: July 19, 2007, 11:06 am - IP Logged

                  I know this sounds cruel, but if the ticket was left on the counter, and it was not signed, then I'd say too damn bad. If I was charged with stealing it, I would sue the police for false charges.

                  Bottom line: He who signs it first keeps it.

                    Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
                    Indiana
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                    January 7, 2007
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                    Posted: July 19, 2007, 12:16 pm - IP Logged

                    It's her own fault.

                    Gonna win.Big Smile

                      KyMystikal's avatar - 1457224010054
                      Florence, Alabama
                      United States
                      Member #8658
                      November 13, 2004
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                      Posted: July 19, 2007, 1:32 pm - IP Logged

                      I know this sounds cruel, but if the ticket was left on the counter, and it was not signed, then I'd say too damn bad. If I was charged with stealing it, I would sue the police for false charges.

                      Bottom line: He who signs it first keeps it.

                      1. transitive and intransitive verb take something unlawfully: to take something that belongs to somebody else, illegally or without the owner's permission

                       

                      That lawsuit would be thrown out because the clerks knew it was her ticket so it was stealing. I think it would have been a difference if someone had come into the store and got all the trash looking for winning tickets that people throw away by accident it would have been more difficult for the actual winner. I'm thinking once you've thrown it away you give up ownership of it, but having a receipt could still prove the ownership. I've seen people go to the store and get the lottery trash to take somewhere and go thru it.

                      I love doubles and remember, it's just a game!!!!!!


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                        Posted: July 21, 2007, 7:38 am - IP Logged

                        They're not thieves. They found an unsigned winning ticket that had been lost. Almost everyone here knows that makes them the rightful owners.

                        This is totally different. They knew that the person got a receipt and willingly tried to cash the scratch ticket anyway.

                        That dicussion forum post was about finding a ticket by itself, not having a clue as to who lost it.

                        If I worked at a store and knowingly checked a winning ticket to be a winner, and saw the ticket left on the counter, i would be downright foolish to try cashing it in. That's just dumb.

                        No comparison. Nice try though....

                          TheGameGrl's avatar - character catafly.jpg
                          A long and winding road
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                          Posted: July 21, 2007, 8:56 pm - IP Logged

                          Thank you Pacattack05 for clarifying the difference. Some folks just needed a refresher course.

                          -Receipt claim adds fuel to the ladys rightfull claim.

                          ~~Is it true, Is it kind,Is it necessary. ~~~

                           Thanks be to the giving numbers: 1621,912,119 02014

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                            NY
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                            October 16, 2005
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                            Posted: July 22, 2007, 9:40 pm - IP Logged

                            This is totally different. They knew that the person got a receipt and willingly tried to cash the scratch ticket anyway.

                            That dicussion forum post was about finding a ticket by itself, not having a clue as to who lost it.

                            If I worked at a store and knowingly checked a winning ticket to be a winner, and saw the ticket left on the counter, i would be downright foolish to try cashing it in. That's just dumb.

                            No comparison. Nice try though....

                            There's absolutely nothing different here. The ticket is a bearer instrument. It says so right on the back. I know because I've ben told over and over and over. I've also been told over and over and over that a bearer instrument belongs to the person who has it. Somebody found a bearer instrument. They didn't steal it. They found it after it was lost by the person who owned it before losing it. The only choices are that it belongs to them because it's a bearer instrument, or simply having possession of a bearer instrument doesn't make it yours.