A Wymore woman was arraigned in Gage County Court earlier this week on charges she and other employees of Blue Springs Keno, a bar located on Broad Street in Blue Springs, Nebraska, tampered with keno machines for their own benefit.
Jana Fletcher, 35, faces Class III felony charges of theft by taking more than $1,500 and tampering with a lottery device for cheating (a Class IV felony), and a Class I misdemeanor charge of violating the state lottery act.
A Class III felony carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine while a Class IV felony carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. A Class I misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Fletcher's charges are in connection with, incidents that occurred between Sept. 1, 2005 and Feb. 28, 2006, in which Fletcher, 45-year-old Robert Roberts and 42-year-old Jamie Phipps, all of Wymore, allegedly manipulated one of the electric "blower" machines used by them to call numbers at Blue Springs Keno.
Court documents allege when Fletcher, Roberts or Phipps called a keno game, they would allegedly withhold one of the numbered balls ejected from the machine during a game. Before the next game, they would place a "one-spot" bet that the number on the withheld ball would be called in the next keno game.
All one-spot bets have 3-1 odds, which means each bettor would receive three times the amount of money he or she wagered in the bet.
Roberts and Phipps were arraigned Oct. 11 on the same charges as Fletcher.
The Gage County Attorney's Office said charges against all three originally were filed last year but dismissed out of concern their cases couldn't be completed within the six months allowed by state statutes.
While an investigation is still continuing into the case, Rick Schreiner, chief deputy attorney for Gage County, has previously said he believes enough evidence has been gathered to determine that Fletcher, Roberts and Phipps were working together in the cheating scheme.