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Pair arrested for stealing lottery tickets for 3 years

Florida LotteryFlorida Lottery: Pair arrested for stealing lottery tickets for 3 years

Claimed $187,000 in winnings from stolen scratch-offs

A clerk at Local Yokel food mart has been arrested for stealing Florida Lottery scratch-off tickets and raking in $187,000 in winnings.

Michelle Joan Despain, 35, of Daphne, Ala., is accused of stealing books of tickets and claiming them in Escambia County and in Orlando during a family vacation, according to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office.

The tickets she stole would have sold for more than $243,000.

Despain's husband, 33-year-old Raymond S. Despain, has also been arrested.

The couple scratched off tickets at home and then redeemed the winning ones at Circle K stores, a Sheriff's Office news release stated.

Investigators say the scheme has been going on for at least three years. They're looking for more stolen money because Michelle Despain had worked at Local Yokel since Sept. 2000.

The Despains were being held in the Santa Rosa County Jail on $50,000 bond each.

Michelle Despain is charged with grand theft over $100,000, organized dealing in stolen property and scheming to defraud.

Raymond Despain is charged with conspiracy to commit grand theft, organized dealing in stolen property, scheming to defraud and filing a false Lottery claim.

Michelle Despain Raymond Despain

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25 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by rage.
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Raven62's avatar - binary
New Jersey
United States
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June 28, 2005
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Posted: February 8, 2008, 10:49 am - IP Logged

They don't Look Like Happy Winners!

The tickets she stole would have sold for more than $243,000.

$187,000 in winnings.

Net: Minus $56,000!

Unless you hit the Jackpot: It's a losing proposition. Wink

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

    Litebets27's avatar - power
    Maryland
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    January 14, 2005
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    Posted: February 8, 2008, 11:02 am - IP Logged

    They don't Look Like Happy Winners!

    The tickets she stole would have sold for more than $243,000.

    $187,000 in winnings.

    Net: Minus $56,000!

    Unless you hit the Jackpot: It's a losing proposition. Wink

    In stealing the tickets, if they hadn't gotten caught, they would have profitted $187,000.00.

    But how in the world could these people sleep? What nerve!! Family vacation on stolen money!!

    These people must be career thieves.

    Feeling,  PRICELESS!!!Banana

    Come on Jackpot!!!

      chasingadream's avatar - Archangel 01.jpg

      United States
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      May 3, 2006
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      Posted: February 8, 2008, 11:26 am - IP Logged

      They don't Look Like Happy Winners!

      The tickets she stole would have sold for more than $243,000.

      $187,000 in winnings.

      Net: Minus $56,000!

      Unless you hit the Jackpot: It's a losing proposition. Wink

      lmao i was thinking the same thing when i was reading it

      Oogle  waiting patiently for my jackpot

        Raven62's avatar - binary
        New Jersey
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        June 28, 2005
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        Posted: February 8, 2008, 11:28 am - IP Logged

        In stealing the tickets, if they hadn't gotten caught, they would have profitted $187,000.00.

        But how in the world could these people sleep? What nerve!! Family vacation on stolen money!!

        These people must be career thieves.

        When you're talking that kind of money: How can you not get caught?

        Beretta: Don't do the crime, if you can't do the time!

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

          Avatar
          Los Angeles CA
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          Member #55727
          October 16, 2007
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          Posted: February 8, 2008, 12:26 pm - IP Logged

          Hmmm, sounds like they stole a huge chunk of tickets, wonder how this changed the actual game odds for all the honest players on those games.

          EXMECHANIC

          "My dollar buys hope, what does yours do?" 

            Avatar
            Northern California
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            August 9, 2005
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            Posted: February 8, 2008, 12:30 pm - IP Logged

            The Yokel store(s) must have terrible controls on inventory....243,000 is a lot of books of tickets.

             

            Also - FL had near 50% payouts until several years ago. Even at their current level of payout I find it hard to believe 243k worth of tickets produced over 180k in winnings...that would be about 75%.

              RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
              mid-Ohio
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              Posted: February 8, 2008, 1:17 pm - IP Logged

              "Also - FL had near 50% payouts until several years ago. Even at their current level of payout I find it hard to believe 243k worth of tickets produced over 180k in winnings...that would be about 75%."

              You wouldn't expect Florida Lottery to say that $243,000 worth of scratch-offs only paid back a few dollars, would you?  After all, this story may be about a couple of crooks but it also tells the honest players the kinds of paybacks they can expect if they buy a scratch-off.  I'm surprised they didn't accused them of cashing them it for $500,000.

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

                Avatar
                NY
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                Posted: February 8, 2008, 3:23 pm - IP Logged

                Hmmm, sounds like they stole a huge chunk of tickets, wonder how this changed the actual game odds for all the honest players on those games.

                It changed the odds for other players exactly the same as if the store had sold the tickets instead of having them stolen.

                  Tenaj's avatar - michellea
                  Charlotte NC
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                  Posted: February 8, 2008, 3:39 pm - IP Logged

                  What?What I don't understand is what makes people think they can get away with stealing lottery tickets.  Do they think they are smart or everybody else is stupid.

                  takeemtothebank

                    ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
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                    Posted: February 8, 2008, 4:16 pm - IP Logged

                    What?What I don't understand is what makes people think they can get away with stealing lottery tickets.  Do they think they are smart or everybody else is stupid.

                    I think some people are so desperate for money that they think their "plans" of ripping of the lottery will work out. It seems in most cases it doesn't work.

                    "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

                      justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                      Wandering Aimlessly
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                      Posted: February 8, 2008, 4:36 pm - IP Logged

                      I can't say if it's really true because no charges were filed, but a former neighbor of mine (not a personal friend) was fired from a local 7-11 for stealing lottery tickets. She denied it. She was never reported for the crime, so that's why I sort of believed her. Plus, why would anyone admit to being fired from a convenient store for stealing? However, I think sometimes employees look at the tickets as some kind of perk or benefit.  I'm not saying it's right (of course it isn't!) but there must be millions of people who take pens and paper from their offices all the time or make long distance calls, etc.  One thing she admitted to was eating a hot dog once in a while instead of throwing it into the trash, which I guess they have to do after they've been on sale for a certain time.  The management called it stealing and she said "but it was trash."  What's really stupid on her part is that they have video surveillance cameras all over the store.  Again, I never said she was a personal friend! LOL

                        tntea's avatar - Lottery-059.jpg

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                        Posted: February 8, 2008, 5:01 pm - IP Logged

                        I can't say if it's really true because no charges were filed, but a former neighbor of mine (not a personal friend) was fired from a local 7-11 for stealing lottery tickets. She denied it. She was never reported for the crime, so that's why I sort of believed her. Plus, why would anyone admit to being fired from a convenient store for stealing? However, I think sometimes employees look at the tickets as some kind of perk or benefit.  I'm not saying it's right (of course it isn't!) but there must be millions of people who take pens and paper from their offices all the time or make long distance calls, etc.  One thing she admitted to was eating a hot dog once in a while instead of throwing it into the trash, which I guess they have to do after they've been on sale for a certain time.  The management called it stealing and she said "but it was trash."  What's really stupid on her part is that they have video surveillance cameras all over the store.  Again, I never said she was a personal friend! LOL

                        We had a girl was stealing tickets at our store.   How the owner found out who it was?  Another store owner called to find out where the winning tickets were registered.  Why?  Because the girl never bought any there, only cashed in the tickets.  So he found out that they were registered at our store, then called our owner and describe the women.   Our owner went down to the store and picked up the cashed in tickets and watched the videos.  It was a shame that these girls did this to a boss who is so nice.

                             OLD/Vtrac   Lottery Bible         Double Warnings      Thumbs Up TN F34/F44

                          justxploring's avatar - villiarna
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                          Posted: February 8, 2008, 5:19 pm - IP Logged

                          We had a girl was stealing tickets at our store.   How the owner found out who it was?  Another store owner called to find out where the winning tickets were registered.  Why?  Because the girl never bought any there, only cashed in the tickets.  So he found out that they were registered at our store, then called our owner and describe the women.   Our owner went down to the store and picked up the cashed in tickets and watched the videos.  It was a shame that these girls did this to a boss who is so nice.

                          tntea, I never worked in a convenient store, so I'm not sure..but aren't tickets like inventory?  I mean, if I were working at a furniture store and a bedroom set was missing, it would be obvious that someone stole it or didn't turn in the invoice and pocketed the money. However, a small lamp or accessory might be easier to hide, but it still gets counted and would be noticed.  I realize a ticket is small and easy to pocket, but I assume the store pays for them and has to keep track of the quantity, right?  Would this woman have eventually been caught anyway?  I'm just wondering how the thieves in this article got away with stealing "books of tickets" for 3 years.

                            Tenaj's avatar - michellea
                            Charlotte NC
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                            June 18, 2005
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                            Posted: February 8, 2008, 5:32 pm - IP Logged

                            We had a girl was stealing tickets at our store.   How the owner found out who it was?  Another store owner called to find out where the winning tickets were registered.  Why?  Because the girl never bought any there, only cashed in the tickets.  So he found out that they were registered at our store, then called our owner and describe the women.   Our owner went down to the store and picked up the cashed in tickets and watched the videos.  It was a shame that these girls did this to a boss who is so nice.

                            Maybe she should have waited after the closing of her shifts

                             

                            and scavenged through the trash cans for winning tickets.  It's a viable option.

                            takeemtothebank