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3 charged in theft of $250,000 lottery ticket

Iowa LotteryIowa Lottery: 3 charged in theft of $250,000 lottery ticket
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — An employee at an Iowa lottery retailer is charged with stealing a winning $250,000 instant scratch ticket and working with her boyfriend and mother in a clumsy attempt to claim the prize, investigators said last week.

Prosecutors allege that Casey's general store employee Ashley Bosler, 20, found the winning ticket by scratching off a corner and scanning the bar code that confirmed it was a winner of the game's top prize.

She allegedly hadn't paid for the ticket and was too young to play, so she asked a co-worker to sign it and eventually her boyfriend, who tried to claim it. Suspicious lottery officials refused to approve the payout after noticing scribbling on the back of the ticket.

"In the excitement of finding a winner, different ideas may have been suggested about how they go about claiming it," Buena Vista County Attorney Dave Patton said, adding that it was unclear who all wrote on the ticket but that Bosler's co-worker wasn't charged.

An investigation ensued, and all three were jailed this week on felony charges.

Bosler and her boyfriend, 26-year-old Johnny Long Jr., were being held in the Buena Vista County Jail in Storm Lake. Both are charged with theft of a lottery ticket. Bosler and her mother, 42-year-old Sally Bosler, are charged with aiding and abetting. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison if convicted.

Sally Bosler told The Associated Press on Friday that she didn't believe she'd done anything criminal.

"They really thought they won," said Bosler, who was released from jail Thursday after posting bond. "I don't know why I'm in trouble. I had nothing to do with it. I gave them a ride to go cash this."

She said her daughter "freaked out" after scratching the winning ticket at work on June 14 because she didn't meet the lottery's minimum age requirement of 21. She then asked a co-worker to sign the ticket, which is legally required to claim the prize.

Investigators allege that Sally Bosler took $20 to her daughter so she could pay for the already-scratched ticket.

But the elder Bosler said didn't know how the money was used and would never give her daughter money to play the lottery. She said she drove her daughter and Long to a regional lottery office to cash the ticket three days later. She said her daughter and her boyfriend talked of buying a home and donating some of the money to charity.

Public defenders were assigned Friday to represent Long, a farm laborer, and Ashley Bosler. Both are scheduled for bond hearings Monday. Their attorneys didn't immediately return messages.

All three live in Sioux Rapids, a town of 800 that has been buzzing about the case since the Wednesday arrests.

Sally Bosler said her daughter was fired from Casey's general store amid the investigation. A Casey's spokesman didn't return messages seeking comment.

The risk of theft and fraud by lottery retailers has long been a concern. In a 2009 investigation, the Iowa Ombudsman's office found that "some retailers and store employees have been uncommonly lucky playing the lottery" and warned that the agency needed to do more to prevent and detect problems.

The report warned about "pickouts" in which store employees keep winning scratch tickets and sell losers to the public.

"It is definitely a phenomenon that's known about in the lottery security world," said Ombudsman investigator Bert Dalmer. "It sounds like the lottery has been keenly aware of that in this case, which is a good thing for players."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

AP, Lottery Post Staff

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46 comments. Last comment 3 months ago by GaInVa.
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Unluckyone's avatar - lib

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Posted: August 5, 2016, 10:02 am - IP Logged

Here we go again. And they want us to believe that they can be trusted?

    luckyshoes's avatar - butterfly neg.jpg
    Pennsylvania
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    Posted: August 5, 2016, 10:10 am - IP Logged

    Why did the mother drive them to cash it? Couldnt the boyfriend or the girl drive.....because mama wanted her cut of the payout.

      Raven62's avatar - binary
      New Jersey
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      Posted: August 5, 2016, 10:14 am - IP Logged

      Even in an ungodly world folks know about:  Thou shalt not steal!

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

        Unluckyone's avatar - lib

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        Posted: August 5, 2016, 10:16 am - IP Logged

        Why did the mother drive them to cash it? Couldnt the boyfriend or the girl drive.....because mama wanted her cut of the payout.

        I think mama wanted in on the prize as well.

        This scenario plays out more often than people think as there are a lot of unethical employees working at many of these lottery retailers.

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          backwoods ga
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          Posted: August 5, 2016, 10:16 am - IP Logged

          thug life.   Like Marie Holmes and hot sauce.  They get what they deserve.    How dumb can you be.   Omg

          my name Lil Darryl   you got some Milk

            Raven62's avatar - binary
            New Jersey
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            Posted: August 5, 2016, 10:27 am - IP Logged

            Something to ponder: Why do people go to such lengths to be just like these overly-publicized lowlifes?

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

              noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
              Bay Area - California
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              Posted: August 5, 2016, 11:05 am - IP Logged

              Oh Ashley....

              People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                sully16's avatar - sharan
                Ringleader
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                Posted: August 5, 2016, 11:18 am - IP Logged

                Never ending supply.

                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"

                  LiveInGreenBay's avatar - driver
                  Green Bay
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                  Posted: August 5, 2016, 11:23 am - IP Logged

                   Good work by those Iowa lottery people recognizing this as a potential scam.  They're the ones who busted Tipton too.

                  Never give up.  Banana

                    rustysmom's avatar - Lottery-031.jpg
                    ohio
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                    Posted: August 5, 2016, 11:26 am - IP Logged

                    A while back i filled out an employment application for a gas station that i buy tickets at a lot. the first thing i was told was if hired I could no longer buy tickets there.that should be policy at all stores.at least while they are working

                      noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
                      Bay Area - California
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                      Posted: August 5, 2016, 11:43 am - IP Logged

                      A while back i filled out an employment application for a gas station that i buy tickets at a lot. the first thing i was told was if hired I could no longer buy tickets there.that should be policy at all stores.at least while they are working

                      So did you take the job or did you move on seeing that you could not purchase tickets there? ..Just asking.

                      It would seem that being surrounded by all those scratchers would truly tests one's will power on a daily basis hey?

                      People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                        mypiemaster's avatar - 2015021003pileofcash
                        JACKPOT HUNTER

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                        Posted: August 5, 2016, 12:19 pm - IP Logged

                        When are some of these fools gonna learn?.

                        Seek and ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

                        Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

                          rustysmom's avatar - Lottery-031.jpg
                          ohio
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                          Posted: August 5, 2016, 1:49 pm - IP Logged

                          I never got called. when she told me , I couldn't buy tickets there,she laughed and said the store would loose a lot of money.

                            noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
                            Bay Area - California
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                            Posted: August 5, 2016, 2:45 pm - IP Logged

                            You have got to love Sally ' s explanation " l just drove them there." What a kind and helpful Mother,looking out for her baby's interest. It's similar to the person driving the getaway car - " l had no idea these guy's had robbed a bank, l was just there to drive."

                            People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.