Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited July 9, 2020, 9:16 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Store clerk busted trying to scam undercover lottery investigator

Jan 24, 2018, 12:55 pm

Share this news story on Facebook
Tweet this news story on Twitter
Florida LotteryFlorida Lottery: Store clerk busted trying to scam undercover lottery investigatorRating:

Do you trust your store clerk with your lottery ticket?

Maybe you've won a few hundred bucks or more. Will the employee tell you — or pocket the ticket while telling you it's a loser?

That happened this week at a Fort Myers store, according to the Lee County Sheriff's Office. A Winn-Dixie Liquors employee is accused of keeping a customer's $600 winning ticket — and paying him only 5 bucks.

Crystelle Yvette Baton was charged with larceny grand theft on Monday.

Baton, 42, was caught because she scammed the wrong customer, cops say.

The man wasn't a customer — he was an agent working undercover for the Florida Lottery Commission's security division.

When the undercover agent approached Baton with the winning ticket, she scanned it and realized it was worth $600. But instead of telling the man, investigators said she quietly pulled $5 out of her purse and told the man that was the "winning" ticket's payoff.

Shortly after, the agent went back to the store to bust Baton. The winning ticket was found hidden in her notebook.

Seems the Lottery Commission makes these kind of random visits to sellers to make sure the games are played properly.

"Anyone that is working in a customer service job, you think that they are doing what is in your best interest. I would be very upset if someone took that from me," Winn-Dixie customer Nadina Puzic said.

A reader, posting on the NBC2 website on Wednesday, said the scam isn't unusual. "This is much more common than you would think. I put my name on the back always, and always notice when the cashier checks the back before she determines whether it won something or not. A favorite trick, pretend to throw ticket away after telling someone they did not win anything, and then when they leave, pull it out of the trash and collect."

Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie responded with a statement:

"We are taking this matter very seriously as the trust and safety of our customers is our highest priority. The associate's employment has been terminated."

Baton posted a $5,000 bond on Tuesday. Her trial date is set for Feb. 26.

The lesson, even if it gnaws at you a bit for not trusting your fellow human: Make use of the Florida Lottery Commission's electronic checkers that are placed on the counters near the lottery machine. You'll save time, too, if there's a line.

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

Miami Herald

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

44 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by kingrock1.
Page 1 of 3
Avatar
Simpsonville
United States
Member #163184
January 22, 2015
2205 Posts
Offline
Posted: January 24, 2018, 1:31 pm - IP Logged

Ain't she a sight for sore eyes?  No.

 

Too bad more states didn't have undercover operations or we just know know about them.  Can only recall a handful off the top of my head.

    Avatar

    Zimbabwe
    Member #21
    December 7, 2001
    4530 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: January 24, 2018, 1:42 pm - IP Logged

    Minnesota has self check scanners.

    No need to have a crooked store clerk "check" them.

    If it's over $500, go to a local lottery office and collect.

    If it's too high, the lottery officials may have to go to lottery headquarters to collect.

    .

      Slick Nick's avatar - RYc5Gcw
      Rochester
      United States
      Member #103278
      January 1, 2011
      951 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: January 24, 2018, 1:49 pm - IP Logged

      This stuff has happened before. I hope the law gets harsher for this type of crime. Smash

      Money is a terrible master, but a great servant...Smile

        Avatar
        Chasing $ Millions.
        White Shores- California
        United States
        Member #136473
        December 12, 2012
        6211 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: January 24, 2018, 1:56 pm - IP Logged

        This stuff has happened before. I hope the law gets harsher for this type of crime. Smash

        l bet that lottery investigator got an adrenaline rush when he nailed her. Why?.. in speaking to some cops, they said that if fellow officers are under fire & they are in pursuit to the scene, an adrenaline rush kicks in, its not asked for, it just flows in.

         

         * Voice of Reason *   

         

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

          MsDiamond600's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
          Connecticut
          United States
          Member #182195
          June 6, 2017
          6983 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: January 24, 2018, 3:38 pm - IP Logged

          Thank goodness CT has self ticket scanners. We also have an app to download to our phone to see if we are a winner.

          Shame on her!!

          "The two most powerful warriors are patience and time."

            MzDuffleBaglady's avatar - Lottery-067.jpg
            50
            Statistical player!
            United States
            Member #81312
            October 16, 2009
            30302 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: January 24, 2018, 3:55 pm - IP Logged

            I had a similar experience.

            I played the winning number, but, didn't get the ticket.

            I still had my play slip, so I went back to the store, asked the clerk, where is my ticket?

            He said,  "I don't have it"?  I said, I have the play slip with the winning number on it that I played, but, I don't have the ticket"?  I just left this store, so, check behind the machine.

            He said, "It's not here".

            I was like, I know you got that ticket, and I hope you needed it more than I did.

             

            So, now, even if the line long, I stand there and check all my tickets ,and make sure they match my play slips.

            It was a winning ticket, for, $350.00  off pick 3.

            Good Luck

            Stay healthy, be safe, take care of yourself and others!  "Mask On" !Type

              zephbe's avatar - animal butterfly.jpg
              South Carolina
              United States
              Member #77165
              July 15, 2009
              897 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: January 24, 2018, 4:12 pm - IP Logged

              Wonder how many times she did this before she got caught.  Somebody might have reported her. Glad they caught her. 

              Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up.-Rocky Balboa

              “Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of going after yours.” – Zig Ziglar

                Avatar
                Simpsonville
                United States
                Member #163184
                January 22, 2015
                2205 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: January 24, 2018, 4:21 pm - IP Logged

                Thank goodness CT has self ticket scanners. We also have an app to download to our phone to see if we are a winner.

                Shame on her!!

                Excellent point!

                 

                Maybe the self checking scanner wasn't on-line or working.  We like to play in Indiana and more often than not the scanner is conveniently not working in the greater New Albany, IN stores.  Then you give it to the clerk to check...

                  music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
                  Fresno, California
                  United States
                  Member #157851
                  August 2, 2014
                  3862 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: January 24, 2018, 5:09 pm - IP Logged

                  Now Crystelle Yvette Baton will be working in a rat hole of a store in the seedy side of town. That is if she gets hired. It will take years to correct her employment history. No No

                   Why would any LP Member not use USAMEGA and Lottery Post to check their numbers?

                  On toward a billion dollar jackpot!

                  When will COVID-19 be finished?  A vaccine may protect all of us.

                    Avatar

                    United States
                    Member #170703
                    December 13, 2015
                    202 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: January 24, 2018, 5:28 pm - IP Logged

                    Every Winn Dixie in FL I've been to have self scanners. Also if a winning ticket is scanned by a cashier the terminal will make CHACHING! sound. Whenever the self scanners are down. I go to another store! So many stores in Florida!

                      tdups's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                      Ontario
                      Canada
                      Member #184492
                      September 14, 2017
                      751 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: January 24, 2018, 6:31 pm - IP Logged

                      florida lotto needs to put a better system in place. when the clerk scans the tickets i want to hear music playing and winner or not a winner the screen. its there but not noticeable enough . ontario has it and its hard to not noticed you won or lose.

                        JAMORA's avatar - ladyclover
                        NC
                        United States
                        Member #164393
                        February 28, 2015
                        3682 Posts
                        Online
                        Posted: January 24, 2018, 6:49 pm - IP Logged

                        florida lotto needs to put a better system in place. when the clerk scans the tickets i want to hear music playing and winner or not a winner the screen. its there but not noticeable enough . ontario has it and its hard to not noticed you won or lose.

                        They turn down the volume so you don't hear the music of a winning ticket....

                        "Don't waste time, it's the stuff life's made of..."

                          Avatar
                          Chasing $ Millions.
                          White Shores- California
                          United States
                          Member #136473
                          December 12, 2012
                          6211 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: January 24, 2018, 7:32 pm - IP Logged

                          I had a similar experience.

                          I played the winning number, but, didn't get the ticket.

                          I still had my play slip, so I went back to the store, asked the clerk, where is my ticket?

                          He said,  "I don't have it"?  I said, I have the play slip with the winning number on it that I played, but, I don't have the ticket"?  I just left this store, so, check behind the machine.

                          He said, "It's not here".

                          I was like, I know you got that ticket, and I hope you needed it more than I did.

                           

                          So, now, even if the line long, I stand there and check all my tickets ,and make sure they match my play slips.

                          It was a winning ticket, for, $350.00  off pick 3.

                          Good Luck

                          So you played, paid for your ticket, but didn't get it? Hmmm.

                           * Voice of Reason *   

                           

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

                            tdups's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                            Ontario
                            Canada
                            Member #184492
                            September 14, 2017
                            751 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: January 24, 2018, 8:05 pm - IP Logged

                            They turn down the volume so you don't hear the music of a winning ticket....

                            oh ok thanks they must have ! i did not know.