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Store clerks seen on camera stealing lottery tickets

Nov 14, 2017, 8:12 am

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Indiana LotteryIndiana Lottery: Store clerks seen on camera stealing lottery ticketsRating:

Includes video report

CONNERSVILLE, Ind. — Two former store clerks are in hot water after surveillance video captured them stealing tens of thousands of dollars worth of scratch-off lottery tickets for months.

Former store clerk Reagan Santana Richardson is set to be sentenced Friday in Fayette County for her involvement in the theft of scratch-off lottery tickets at Miller's Discount Tobacco store in Connersville, Indiana, located at 704 Eastern Avenue.

Richardson has been offered a plea deal that will not include jail time but will require her to go on probation and make restitution.

Store Manager Jeff Herbert described what he saw on several the store's surveillance cameras as "something that made me very, very sick."

"You want honest people and you don't think they will do anything to jeopardize their family name," added Herbert.

Richardson and her co-worker Melinda Carol Lanning ignored the cameras overhead, stealing lottery tickets from behind the counter, scanning them, and cashing in the winning cards and throwing out the duds. 

This went on for months. The women used a step stool to take tickets that were too hard to reach.

In one video clip from January 2, you can see and hear Lanning say "Hey we just hit $20. I can put that in. Will that make you feel better."

In another video clip from January 15, you hear Lanning say "$50 bucks. You want to cash it right now though?" and you hear Richardson respond "Yeah."   

In another clip, one of the women makes the remark "I hope they don't watch the cameras."   

Both women were fired in January after the store learned of the problem when their accountant reported $10,000 dollars missing from the lottery fund.

Every ticket the women took and scratched off cost the store between $5 to $30 depending on the game. 

In all, the two workers stole more than $21,000 in tickets between November 2016 and January of 2017 and the Hoosier Lottery paid out more than $6,000 dollars in winnings.

A special prosecutor from Union County was appointed to oversee this case.

To make matters worse, Lanning and Richardson could face a new round of legal problems.

The women were not only drawn to scratch-off tickets, but they also had an interest on the online game "Cash4Life."

The former clerks allegedly passed on a $2,500 winning ticket to a female friend who cashed it at the Indianapolis office of the Hoosier Lottery.

"I think the person who cashed the ticket should be arrested. Hoosier Lottery needs to go after lady who cashed the ticket and stole money from the Hoosier Lottery," Herbert.

In a statement, Hoosier Lottery officials said:

"The Hoosier Lottery's Security Department has been involved in this investigation in Connersville for some time and is fully cooperating and assisting the Special Prosecutor.  The Lottery intends to present the results of its investigation to the Marion County Prosecutor when the Special Prosecutor resolves the Fayette County case."

The name of the woman who claimed the $2500 lottery ticket will not be given until charges are filed. Lawyers for Lanning and Richardson did not respond to a request for comment.

While Richardson is scheduled in court on Friday at 1:30 p.m., her former co-worker Lanning has a trial date scheduled for January 29. A plea agreement was also offered to Lanning that would not involve jail time, but would require restitution and probation as well. 

Both plea agreements are subject to approval from the judge.

VIDEO: Watch the report

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rtv6, Lottery Post Staff

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12 comments. Last comment 4 years ago by OldSchoolPa.
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MzDuffleBaglady's avatar - Lottery-061.jpg
25
"Study Filters"
United States
Member #81312
October 16, 2009
35228 Posts
Offline

Wow!

Lottery goals---->>>>> 

    Raven62's avatar - binary
    25
    New Jersey
    United States
    Member #17842
    June 28, 2005
    146862 Posts
    Offline

    Surveillance Cameras: If You Got'em Use'em!



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

    Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

    Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

    The best way to learn is to never stop being a student!

      music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
      Fresno, California
      United States
      Member #157849
      August 2, 2014
      3959 Posts
      Offline

      Thank You rtv6 and Lottery Post Staff.  At least they will have to pay restitution and this will be on their record. This should also upset the regular players who were not able to win because the winning tickets were stolen.

       What surprised me most was when the store manager said, "jeopardize their family name".

       These two thieves are dumb criminals. Maybe it is best to keep them out of jail where they would be trained on how to be smarter criminals.

      Crazy

       "We are all in this together!" 

        Avatar

        United States
        Member #21
        December 7, 2001
        4530 Posts
        Offline

        Wonder if those non-winning Cash4Life were passed off as mistake tickets to unsuspecting players.

        Funny thing this morning is we had another discussion with a store clerk at that Kwik Trip store we frequent.

        As we were paying for our coffee, we noticed a ticket laying on the counter.

        We ask the clerk if that was someone's ticket they left behind.

        He said, "No, that's a non-winner. Do you want it?".

        "Ha-ha", we laughed.

        We told him we had to report it the last time we were sold a non-winning ticket.

        .

          Dead_Aim's avatar - canstock2002989

          United States
          Member #6363
          August 20, 2004
          4648 Posts
          Offline

          wow, the exact reason I don't play scratchers.

          "In all, the two workers stole more than $21,000 in tickets between November 2016 and January of 2017 and the Hoosier Lottery paid out more than $6,000 dollars in winnings."

          such a pathetic payout. And if they had actually paid for the tickets more than likely a 3rd of the winnings would have been pushes or free tickets only. They wouldn't have even netted the measly 6k.

          Don't Chase... Compare and Narrow

          The Cheaper the Cost the Higher the Profit

          Many Winners to You.

          D_A

            Avatar
            * In hot pursuit of $ *
            White Shores- California
            United States
            Member #136471
            December 12, 2012
            6741 Posts
            Offline

            l could be wrong, but Jeff comes off as too nice &  laid back a guy imo. These two took way too much advantage of his kindness.

             * Voice of Reason *   

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

              LiveInGreenBay's avatar - driver
              Green Bay
              United States
              Member #169383
              October 15, 2015
              2753 Posts
              Offline

              They aren't doing any jail time?  You kidding me!  This just encourages others to do the same.  Unbelievable.

              Never give up.  Banana

                Avatar
                Wyomissing, PA
                United States
                Member #161043
                November 15, 2014
                481 Posts
                Offline

                Often it's players who get ripped off, not the store. The owner is lucky he didn't lose more. Regardless, lottery retailers and their employees shouldn't be permitted to buy / play lottery tickets at their own location(s). That would eliminate much abuse, and better protect players. Not holding my breath for that to happen, since it's more profitable the way it is for lotteries.

                Hopefully, the $2500 Cash4Life winner was just luck and not stolen from a player. Glad to read they're investigating further.

                As for the $6K winnings on $21K. While on the low side, it's in the range of what could be expected. My guess is there were additional winnings not counted, so probably not as bad as it seems.

                At least the clerks were caught. Back in the very old days, it was possible to check tickets without scratching off anything. Cash the winners, sell the losers. Financials would balance making such abuse difficult to spot. Many clerks and retailers did this for years. Finally, lotteries, including PA, addressed the issue and closed the security hole.

                  CDanaT's avatar - Nolz june15.jpg
                  Central TN
                  United States
                  Member #121187
                  January 4, 2012
                  5525 Posts
                  Offline

                  I will just abide by the age old statement "It's easier to STAY of trouble rather than GET out of trouble"

                  Integrity: There is just no substitute.

                  A man's rights rest in 3 boxes: the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box

                    play4shekels's avatar - redhead
                    Clearwater, FL
                    United States
                    Member #68895
                    January 1, 2009
                    106 Posts
                    Offline

                    Those two are obviously the product of some careful inbreeding.

                      uprrman's avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
                      harvard,il
                      United States
                      Member #96752
                      September 4, 2010
                      4380 Posts
                      Offline

                      you can't fix stupidGreen laugh

                      i want to be a millionaire a second time!

                        OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
                        Gurnee, Illinois
                        United States
                        Member #49729
                        February 12, 2007
                        951 Posts
                        Offline

                        I stopped playing scratch-ifs when the Illinois Lottery pulled shenanigans of discontinuing games in which the top prizes had not been won. I would check online and see all 4 top prizes of $5M or $7M or $15M still available and drive around to a number of different convenience stores searching for the game. Many locations would report that someone from the lottery commission had come and taken those. I would buy up as many as I could at the locations that still had them and go on a winning roll for a bit winning no more than $120 which essentially left me even when all was said and done. I quickly came to the conclusion that scratch-ifs are nothing but a farce for the majority of players, and in the case of how the Illinois Lottery (Northstar) ran the scratch-if program, for all lottery players of certain high jackpot games. Now the top prizes of Illinois scratch if games is in line with that of Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma and other states in which I would not waste a single dollar playing the games. So guess what? I have not bought a single scratch if ticket since coming to that conclusion. I would much rather take my chances on the online games because with scratch ifs, you only can win if 1) they have distributed the winning tickets from their production facility, 2) the roll of containing the winning tickets must have been distributed to a store that you happen to frequently patronize, 3) you have to actually be the lucky one to select that game and winning ticket is within the range of tickets you can afford to purchase, 4) you have to scratch in recognize that you won.

                        Situations in which the store clerks pull this just makes it nearly impossible for other players to win. When I play the lottery, I want my dollar to give me opportunity for max payout, and that lower limit is at least $500,000. So I would never be a player of pick 3 or pick 4 games or any scratch if with jackpots less than that. Since majority of games with jackpots of $1M or more cost $20 or more, that exceeds my $5 throwaway threshold for scratch ifs. Factor in the distrust of the lottery and stores, I feel better to just limit play to online games.

                        Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is one  MIRACLE I desire for 2019!!!  NOW come to my subconscious mind you 6 winning numbers!US Flag