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Store clerk gets prison term for Ohio lottery ticket theft

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Deborah Strong admits she is a habitual thief whose gambling addiction has resulted in her stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from her employers over the last decade.

For her latest theft — more than $500,000 in Ohio Lottery scratch-off tickets from a Kroger store — she was sent Tuesday to prison for the maximum sentence of five years. She pleaded guilty to the charge of aggravated theft last month.

The sentence was imposed by Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Dennis Helmick, who also was the judge in a previous case where Strong was convicted of stealing from her employer.

"I've wronged my family and my employer," Strong, 53, of Westwood, told the judge. "I'm sorry for everybody involved."

Helmick wasn't convinced.

"It doesn't seem to faze you at all," Helmick said after he imposed the maximum sentence. "That's not true," she answered.

Then why, the judge wondered, did Strong — married 27 years with four adult children — twice before steal from her employers.

In 2001, the same year she started working for Kroger, Strong stole $14,150 from Cash City, a payday lender. She also was convicted in federal court in 2005 for stealing $20,000 from Provident Bank, where she was a teller.

She received no prison time in either case but was ordered to repay both former employers. Strong said Tuesday she was paying a total of about $150 per month in restitution for both of those crimes.

The Kroger theft was far more costly to her employer. While she pleaded guilty to stealing $189,000 in scratch-off lottery tickets, Kroger said last month when she was convicted that the actual amount was $530,000. In court Tuesday, the judge noted Kroger now believes her theft totals $550,000 in scratch-offs.

"At what point do your hands get burned so badly that you don't put them into the fire again?" the judge asked.

In her job at the Westwood Kroger store, Strong was in charge of ordering the scratch-off tickets and making sure all of the accompanying paperwork and internal computer entries were accurate. Strong was caught when Kroger changed computer networks in the last year and auditors noticed discrepancies in what Strong was reporting and what their records revealed.

Helmick noted that after he convicted Strong in the 2001 theft case, he placed her on probation and ordered her to attend Gamblers Anonymous classes. She admitted she hadn't been to the classes "in years."

Strong reported on her 2009 taxes that she had $43,000 in gambling winnings.

Cincinnati

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20 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by TheGameGrl.
Page 1 of 2
sully16's avatar - sharan
Ringleader
Michigan
United States
Member #81740
October 28, 2009
40346 Posts
Offline
Posted: June 2, 2010, 9:00 am - IP Logged

Bye Bye Debbie, see ya wouldn't want to be ya.

Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

For a lead role in a cage?

 

                                            From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

    Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
    Clarksville
    United States
    Member #487
    July 15, 2002
    17638 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: June 2, 2010, 9:26 am - IP Logged

    I just wonder if some of these weak sentences could have been turned to jail time early and then maybe this third theft would not have happened.  Some folks just don't "get it". 

    If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

    You never know when you will get another hit.

      Raven62's avatar - binary
      New Jersey
      United States
      Member #17843
      June 28, 2005
      49674 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: June 2, 2010, 9:42 am - IP Logged

      And now she gets to steal $50,000/yr for the next 5 years ($250,000) from the Citizens of Ohio: The Cost  to the Tax Payers to keep her Confined in Prison!

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

        RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
        mid-Ohio
        United States
        Member #9
        March 24, 2001
        19823 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: June 2, 2010, 11:12 am - IP Logged

        There must not be many employable people in Westwood if Provident Bank and Kroger hired her to handle their money after she stole $14,150 from Cash City.  She probably will have a similar job waiting for her as soon as she's out.

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

          Avatar
          Buford. GA
          United States
          Member #4
          April 19, 2001
          853 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: June 2, 2010, 11:24 am - IP Logged

               The perp is a PROFESSIONAL THIEF...DUH!!!!!!  I cannot believe that this person was

          able to get away with this and how in the heck did Kroger hire her with a record of theft....unless no reference check was done!!

          I'm not a virgin to firing employees for theft, and yes you can usually spot a thief within a

          few days of observing them, especially if you're expierenced with the 7-Eleven company motto, as i am....."IN GOD WE TRUST, EVERYBODY ELSE WE POLOGRAPH!!"

           "as long as you win more than you lose...gamblins' not a problem"

            jeffrey's avatar - moon
            Hamilton, OH
            United States
            Member #4162
            March 27, 2004
            277 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: June 2, 2010, 11:50 am - IP Logged

            There must not be many employable people in Westwood if Provident Bank and Kroger hired her to handle their money after she stole $14,150 from Cash City.  She probably will have a similar job waiting for her as soon as she's out.

            I hate to say it but she looks like an ordinary older lady. That's probably the reason why she gets hired.  She blends in to the background very well. She probably does have an addiction or she is desperate. It looked like easy pickings and her two previous slaps on the wrists did no good as a deterent. I just don't understand how she thought she would get away with it. She should have quit and denied everything. Hard to prove these things. Maybe the store had video proof. Crime does not pay but everyone else does.

              dpoly1's avatar - driver
              PA
              United States
              Member #66141
              October 16, 2008
              1672 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: June 2, 2010, 2:47 pm - IP Logged

              There are a few hundred thieves in Washington DC that need to go to jail with her

              ........ they keep getting rehired also !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                emilyg's avatar - cat anm.gif

                United States
                Member #14
                November 9, 2001
                31343 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: June 2, 2010, 3:51 pm - IP Logged

                There are a few hundred thieves in Washington DC that need to go to jail with her

                ........ they keep getting rehired also !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                I can hardly wait for Nov.  Vote them out.

                love to nibble those micey feet.

                 

                                             

                  HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                  United States
                  Member #72448
                  March 18, 2009
                  1227 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: June 2, 2010, 4:13 pm - IP Logged

                  Deborah Strong admits she is a habitual thief whose gambling addiction has resulted in her stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from her employers over the last decade.

                  For her latest theft — more than $500,000 in Ohio Lottery scratch-off tickets from a Kroger store — she was sent Tuesday to prison for the maximum sentence of five years. She pleaded guilty to the charge of aggravated theft last month.

                  The sentence was imposed by Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Dennis Helmick, who also was the judge in a previous case where Strong was convicted of stealing from her employer.

                  "I've wronged my family and my employer," Strong, 53, of Westwood, told the judge. "I'm sorry for everybody involved."

                  Helmick wasn't convinced.

                  "It doesn't seem to faze you at all," Helmick said after he imposed the maximum sentence. "That's not true," she answered.

                  Then why, the judge wondered, did Strong — married 27 years with four adult children — twice before steal from her employers.

                  In 2001, the same year she started working for Kroger, Strong stole $14,150 from Cash City, a payday lender. She also was convicted in federal court in 2005 for stealing $20,000 from Provident Bank, where she was a teller.

                  She received no prison time in either case but was ordered to repay both former employers. Strong said Tuesday she was paying a total of about $150 per month in restitution for both of those crimes.

                  The Kroger theft was far more costly to her employer. While she pleaded guilty to stealing $189,000 in scratch-off lottery tickets, Kroger said last month when she was convicted that the actual amount was $530,000. In court Tuesday, the judge noted Kroger now believes her theft totals $550,000 in scratch-offs.

                  "At what point do your hands get burned so badly that you don't put them into the fire again?" the judge asked.

                  In her job at the Westwood Kroger store, Strong was in charge of ordering the scratch-off tickets and making sure all of the accompanying paperwork and internal computer entries were accurate. Strong was caught when Kroger changed computer networks in the last year and auditors noticed discrepancies in what Strong was reporting and what their records revealed.

                  Helmick noted that after he convicted Strong in the 2001 theft case, he placed her on probation and ordered her to attend Gamblers Anonymous classes. She admitted she hadn't been to the classes "in years."

                  Strong reported on her 2009 taxes that she had $43,000 in gambling winnings.

                  The article indicated:  "The Kroger theft was far more costly to her employer. While she pleaded guilty to stealing $189,000 in scratch-off lottery tickets, Kroger said last month when she was convicted that the actual amount was $530,000. In court Tuesday, the judge noted Kroger now believes her theft totals $550,000 in scratch-offs.

                  Strong reported on her 2009 taxes that she had $43,000 in gambling winnings."

                  WOW, out of apx. $550,000 worth of scratch-off lottery tickets, only apx. $43,000 in tickets were big enough winners for her to HAVE to file her name to officially collect the monies?  I hope that many other wins were under the $100 each maximum, or whatever amount that doesn't document winner's name, before payout ... otherwise those scratch-off game odds are scams!

                  All theft is very bad!  At the rate that payback is going, I think it will be impossible for this female thief to fully repay, with interest, any of these three businesses that she's stolen from.  Therefore, I think that prison doesn't make sense in theft cases; unless a prison can employ these folks in Mon.-Sat. F/T occupation that brings in much more $$$ to the state/Fed's coffers than the few U.S. income tax payers $20K-50K/year output (or whatever it costs) that it costs to house/watch/keep these types of societal offenders.

                  Dupe Alert

                  Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

                  Disney

                    konane's avatar - wallace
                    Atlanta, GA
                    United States
                    Member #1265
                    March 13, 2003
                    3333 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: June 2, 2010, 4:20 pm - IP Logged

                    I can hardly wait for Nov.  Vote them out.

                    I Agree!

                    "In 2001, the same year she started working for Kroger, Strong stole $14,150 from Cash City, a payday lender. She also was convicted in federal court in 2005 for stealing $20,000 from Provident Bank, where she was a teller.

                    Back to the original article .... beats me how she was hired by Kroger unless there was no real background check done on her.

                    Good luck to everyone!

                      rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                      Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                      United States
                      Member #73904
                      April 28, 2009
                      14903 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: June 2, 2010, 5:11 pm - IP Logged

                      Stole $14,000, punishment: Pay it back

                      Stole $20,000, punishment: Pay it back

                      Stole $500,000, punishment 5 years

                      The judge or judges who let her go the first two times ought to pay Kroger back.


                                                                   
                                           
                                                               

                       

                       

                       

                       

                                                                                                                         

                      "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                                  --Edmund Burke

                       

                       

                        TheGameGrl's avatar - character catafly.jpg
                        A long and winding road
                        United States
                        Member #17084
                        June 10, 2005
                        4524 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: June 2, 2010, 8:26 pm - IP Logged

                        Stole $14,000, punishment: Pay it back

                        Stole $20,000, punishment: Pay it back

                        Stole $500,000, punishment 5 years

                        The judge or judges who let her go the first two times ought to pay Kroger back.

                        both the judge and the culprit really should pay it back.  Why was that not imposed on her as part of the jail sentence?

                        To clairfy a misinterpretation the new system WAS ABLE to determine the true loss .

                        She really should be banned to ever play the lottery or gaming of any sorts. Create a black list just like they do for criminals who are no longer allowed to vote or carry a gun.

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

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

                          Nino224's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg
                          Miami
                          United States
                          Member #62793
                          July 9, 2008
                          673 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: June 3, 2010, 4:18 am - IP Logged

                          I think the real story here is how more than half a million in scratch-offs didn't yield any real money.

                          Reason #378 for not buying scratch-offs.

                          "...a chance to push everything aside, the circumstances that've controlled our lives, and do it our way now. Good, bad or otherwise. You'll maybe get lost in it, tied up in it a little bit, but if you work your way through that the real you shows up, I think. Maybe what's at your core deep down, maybe that comes out. Maybe that's what it's about." Mike Pace 

                            Avatar
                            Norfolk,VA
                            United States
                            Member #83225
                            December 2, 2009
                            757 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: June 3, 2010, 4:29 am - IP Logged

                            The article indicated:  "The Kroger theft was far more costly to her employer. While she pleaded guilty to stealing $189,000 in scratch-off lottery tickets, Kroger said last month when she was convicted that the actual amount was $530,000. In court Tuesday, the judge noted Kroger now believes her theft totals $550,000 in scratch-offs.

                            Strong reported on her 2009 taxes that she had $43,000 in gambling winnings."

                            WOW, out of apx. $550,000 worth of scratch-off lottery tickets, only apx. $43,000 in tickets were big enough winners for her to HAVE to file her name to officially collect the monies?  I hope that many other wins were under the $100 each maximum, or whatever amount that doesn't document winner's name, before payout ... otherwise those scratch-off game odds are scams!

                            All theft is very bad!  At the rate that payback is going, I think it will be impossible for this female thief to fully repay, with interest, any of these three businesses that she's stolen from.  Therefore, I think that prison doesn't make sense in theft cases; unless a prison can employ these folks in Mon.-Sat. F/T occupation that brings in much more $$$ to the state/Fed's coffers than the few U.S. income tax payers $20K-50K/year output (or whatever it costs) that it costs to house/watch/keep these types of societal offenders.

                            Dupe Alert

                            yep, thats about right.... out of about 550,000 worth of scratch off's she only won 43,000..... thats why scratch off's make the most money for each of the states lottery...... tons and tons of losers and only a small batch of decent winnersThud......prime example right here....Thumbs Down

                            ''YOU CAN PAY FOR SCHOOL BUT, YOU CAN'T BUY CLASS''Thumbs Up