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Clerk tried to steal $14 million lottery ticket

New York LotteryNew York Lottery: Clerk tried to steal $14 million lottery ticket
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NEW YORK — A retired New York transit worker is a big winner, but it took some detective work to find out just how big.

$14 million, it turns out.

The New York Lottery on Friday revealed the tale of Milledge McCassell, 72, of Laurelton, in hope of delivering a moral to the story.

McCassell on Aug. 26 took unsigned tickets he bought a day earlier to the Dynasty Deli and Grocery in Jamaica, Queens, to check for possible prizes.

He checked them himself on a store scanner, which for one ticket flashed "Big Winner."

"I knew it was a big prize winner," McCassell said. "I just didn't know how much."

McCassell took the ticket to the store clerk, who allegedly scanned the ticket and told McCassell it was no big deal.

McCassell tried to get the clerk to return the ticket, but he was told it had already been tossed or lost.

He left the store empty handed to get help.

"I knew something wasn't right so the next day, I went to another retailer I trusted and together, we called the Lottery to file a complaint."

The trusted retailer, according to the New York Post, was Hussein Mesed, owner of the Ideal Stop, Dairy and Grill in Laurelton.

Officials said the Lottery security investigator in cooperation with New York State Police investigators interviewed store personnel at Dynasty Deli and examined proprietary data taken from the store's Lottery computer soon after receiving McCassell's call.

"The Lottery used the many resources at its disposal," New York Lottery Director Gordon Medenica said. "The combination of old-fashioned detective work and advanced ticket safety features built into our new computer system made it very clear to us early on that someone had a $14 million motive to try to scam Mr. McCassell out of his jackpot prize."

Confronted by the data, McCassell and the investigators, the clerk "miraculously . . . found the missing ticket," said a New York State Lottery official quoted by the Post.

"It was a long, panic-filled day, but I got my ticket back," McCassell said. "Now, I'm anxious to get my money."

Instead of the $14 million, McCassell elected to receive a lump-sum payoff of $8.7 million, giving him $5.5 million after taxes.

"We are very thankful Mr. McCassell's story had a happy ending," Medenica said, delivering the moral to the story. "But, this should serve as a wake up call to all New York Lottery players who may not see the value in signing the back of their tickets. Lottery tickets are bearer instruments, just like paper money. Customers are their own first line of defense against would-be prize scammers. You can safeguard your prize, whether it's $14 or $14 million, by simply signing your ticket."

The Lottery recently rolled out a computer system, including ticket checkers at all retail outlets that allow customers to check their own tickets, even instant scratch-off tickets, for potential winners. The Lottery also installed a new generation of retailer computers, which generate tickets for all Lottery draw games and are also used by retailers to check for winning tickets.

Medenica credited the numerous security features made possible by the new computer system with helping the Lottery track McCassell's case.

The Lottery suspended the license of the Dynasty Deli, removed the equipment used to generate game tickets as well as the store's instant ticket inventory.

The matter was referred to the Queens District Attorney's office for further investigation and to determine if any charges would be filed.

http://media.lpimg.com/2010091701.mp4

MSNBC, CBS

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61 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by hsg2000A.
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rdgrnr's avatar - walt
Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
United States
Member #73904
April 28, 2009
14903 Posts
Offline
Posted: September 17, 2010, 9:44 pm - IP Logged

This clerk, for all practical purposes stole 14 million dollars and they are going to determine if any charges will be filed???

They actually got this guy before he jetted off to Katmandu or who knows where and they don't know if there's going to be charges?

This kind of insanity just blows me away!


                                             
                     
                                         

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                   

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

                                                                                            --Edmund Burke

 

 

    Elizabeth03's avatar - cat anm.gif
    Nova Scotia
    Canada
    Member #9934
    December 27, 2004
    885 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: September 17, 2010, 10:02 pm - IP Logged

    Whenever I  buy tickets I  always check them on line before cashing them in, that way I know what the prize amount is. I don't trust any clerks with my tickets.

    As well in Canada the retailers when they scan your ticket have to legally now give you a print out of your prize amount.

    I wouldn't trust them otherwise..Party

      ttech10's avatar - blobdude
      Texas
      United States
      Member #92330
      June 5, 2010
      887 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: September 17, 2010, 10:16 pm - IP Logged

      When I read the paragraph

      "Confronted by the data, McCassell and the investigators, the clerk "miraculously . . . found the missing ticket," said a New York State Lottery official quoted by the Post."

      I had a thought in my head that this guy would get off without penalization. They already suspended their license to sell so that's good. If he's just an employee he should be fired and possibly charged with attempted grand larceny. If he's the owner I can understand the simple punishment of not letting him sell tickets but if he's going to get of scot-free, that ain't right.

       

      This made me think of how New York had warned their lottery sellers that NBC was "trying to trick them into stealing tickets". It looks like they didn't need tricking, just an opportunity. Glad to see the guy got his money pretty easily though and didn't turn out to be another Willis Willis.

       

      And am I the only one that finds signing every ticket as soon as you get it a bit unneeded (I do understand why they said it though)? I've always wanted to start signing them as good luck but would feel weird bringing in a signed ticket for a $2 winner. More people should check via internet or at least have the cashier print out the winning numbers (for those without internet access), then if you think you've won you can sign the back and let the cashier check them on the machine.

        Avatar

        United States
        Member #26330
        November 16, 2005
        330 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: September 17, 2010, 10:44 pm - IP Logged

        It's amazing how many clerks do shady things like this...He should face major grand larceny charges!  I always check my tickets before cashing them in at the store......  I wonder if the "Trusted Clerk" is going to ask for a bit of money for his help?   Enjoy your retirement and lotto winnings sir.....

          RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
          mid-Ohio
          United States
          Member #9
          March 24, 2001
          19831 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: September 17, 2010, 11:15 pm - IP Logged

          "I knew something wasn't right so the next day, I went to another retailer I trusted and together, we called the Lottery to file a complaint."

          Apparently, a retailer he trusted wasn't his first choice where to cashed his ticket.  I wonder if he also bought the ticket at a retailer he didn't trust and allowed him to collect the commission for selling the winning ticket. If so the retailer he trusted that helped him got nothing.

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

            maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
            Massachusetts
            United States
            Member #37433
            April 14, 2006
            2747 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: September 17, 2010, 11:33 pm - IP Logged

            Oh my God! the guy was going to steal $14M from another man?? whats wrong with some people?!

            That money's gone fo ever

              rdgrnr's avatar - walt
              Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
              United States
              Member #73904
              April 28, 2009
              14903 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: September 17, 2010, 11:36 pm - IP Logged

              When I read the paragraph

              "Confronted by the data, McCassell and the investigators, the clerk "miraculously . . . found the missing ticket," said a New York State Lottery official quoted by the Post."

              I had a thought in my head that this guy would get off without penalization. They already suspended their license to sell so that's good. If he's just an employee he should be fired and possibly charged with attempted grand larceny. If he's the owner I can understand the simple punishment of not letting him sell tickets but if he's going to get of scot-free, that ain't right.

               

              This made me think of how New York had warned their lottery sellers that NBC was "trying to trick them into stealing tickets". It looks like they didn't need tricking, just an opportunity. Glad to see the guy got his money pretty easily though and didn't turn out to be another Willis Willis.

               

              And am I the only one that finds signing every ticket as soon as you get it a bit unneeded (I do understand why they said it though)? I've always wanted to start signing them as good luck but would feel weird bringing in a signed ticket for a $2 winner. More people should check via internet or at least have the cashier print out the winning numbers (for those without internet access), then if you think you've won you can sign the back and let the cashier check them on the machine.

              Good point, ttech10.

              Maybe this jerk could have been caught by that sting that the NY Lottery warned everybody about so they could lay low for awhile.

              Makes you wonder how many times these crooks get away with it too.


                                                           
                                   
                                                       

               

               

               

               

                                                                                                                 

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

                                                                                                          --Edmund Burke

               

               

                dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                Oklahoma
                United States
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                November 12, 2009
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                Posted: September 18, 2010, 12:03 am - IP Logged

                WOW!! that's all I can saySmile

                  Nino224's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg
                  Miami
                  United States
                  Member #62793
                  July 9, 2008
                  673 Posts
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                  Posted: September 18, 2010, 1:40 am - IP Logged

                  Not only should you not trust clerks, you shouldn't trust those <snip>ed scanners either. A friend of mine who works at a supermarket told me this week he cashed a winning ticket for $455 for a customer after the scanner said it was not a winner. Crikey!

                  This post has been automatically changed by the Lottery Post computer system to remove inappropriate content and/or spam.

                  "...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
                    Sacramento, CA
                    United States
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                    August 28, 2010
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                    Posted: September 18, 2010, 2:05 am - IP Logged

                    rdgnr,

                    I agree, the evidence is fairly conclusive. But you must withhold judgement until the complete case is heard in court. I'm VERY sure I've been scammed once or twice by unscrupulous clerks who saw an opportunity to cash-in on my good fortune, but there's really not much you can do until an investigation is conducted. We can't automatically assume the guilt or innocence of these people, or their intentions, should they be confronted with a criminal charge.

                      savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
                      adelaide sa
                      Australia
                      Member #37136
                      April 11, 2006
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                      Posted: September 18, 2010, 5:03 am - IP Logged

                      so why didnt the clerk sign the back of the ticket  guess NY is happy to get some good press after thaat date line show

                      2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016 JAN = -106; FEB= -81; MAR= -131; APR= - 87: MAY= -91; JUN= -39; JUL=-134; AUG= -124; SEP = -123; OCT= -84  NOV=- 73 TOT= -3498

                      keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= JAN=-32, FEB= +12 , MAR= -86, APR = -77. MAY= -48, JUN= -29, JUL=-71; AUG = -52; SEPT= -43; OCT = +56 NOV = -33 TOT= -3297

                        hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

                        United States
                        Member #52345
                        May 21, 2007
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                        Posted: September 18, 2010, 6:37 am - IP Logged

                        face palm close the store,sue the store owner & off with the employee thief's hands with a good sized meat cleaver and on public tv

                        problem solved !!!!

                          savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
                          adelaide sa
                          Australia
                          Member #37136
                          April 11, 2006
                          3301 Posts
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                          Posted: September 18, 2010, 6:58 am - IP Logged

                          so the real way to check is ask the clerk for a print out of the draw numbers that you have a ticket for and use good ole mk1 eyball checker.if a winner take it to lottery head officve yaself and cut out the scammers altogether. but even if the scanner says its a big winner, donyt hand it over ask for a print out for the draw the ticket is in.  and certainly never hand it over. shame it comes to this

                          2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016 JAN = -106; FEB= -81; MAR= -131; APR= - 87: MAY= -91; JUN= -39; JUL=-134; AUG= -124; SEP = -123; OCT= -84  NOV=- 73 TOT= -3498

                          keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= JAN=-32, FEB= +12 , MAR= -86, APR = -77. MAY= -48, JUN= -29, JUL=-71; AUG = -52; SEPT= -43; OCT = +56 NOV = -33 TOT= -3297

                            tiggs95's avatar - Lottery-036.jpg

                            United States
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                            November 4, 2006
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                            Posted: September 18, 2010, 8:09 am - IP Logged

                            Let's see now..A 72 year old man buys a lottery ticket scans it on a scanner and it says "big winner" he gives the ticket to a clerk and he says it's not a big winner and throws it in the trash so he could get it later?..So the 72 year old man goes to a clerk he trust????..Why diden't the old man go to the clerk he trusted first?..Also after the scanner said it was a winner take it to the lottery headquarters..Like tiggs has said many many times some people should not be buying lottery tickets if they don't have any common sense..The scanner said "BIG WINNER"..Would that not be a clue you had a BIG WINNER in your hand..