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Undercover Kentucky Lottery investigation snares three store employees trying to steal prizes

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Kentucky LotteryKentucky Lottery: Undercover Kentucky Lottery investigation snares three store employees trying to steal prizes
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An undercover operation conducted by the Kentucky Lottery has nabbed three store clerks trying to steal winning tickets.

A grand jury in Louisville has handed down indictments against three individuals charged with influencing the winning of a lottery prize through coercion, fraud, deception or tampering with lottery equipment or materials, and a separate charge of providing false information to a lottery investigator. The first charge is a class B felony carrying a possible sentence between ten and 20 years, while the second charge is a class D felony carrying a one to five year sentence.

The Kentucky Lottery's security department launched an Integrity Testing Program to determine if store clerks were following procedures for cashing winning tickets. During the investigation, undercover Lottery security personnel presented clerks with tickets that would scan at the terminal as $18,000 winners.  "When the tickets were presented, security personnel told the clerks he or she didn't know if any of the tickets were winners," said the KLC's Senior Vice President of Security Bill Hickerson. "It was up to the clerks to scan the tickets to see if they were indeed winners."

During this phase of the operation, Lottery security personnel went to 60 retailers in Louisville between February and July 2018. Some of the retailers were selected based on previous customer complaints or prior cashing activity, while others were randomly selected. Special tickets were produced by the Lottery's instant ticket provider (Scientific Games) for the operation. Internal alerts were received when someone attempted to cash them.

The results of the Integrity Testing Program were provided to the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office. Their staff presented two cases today against three defendants to the Jefferson County Grand Jury, and indictments were returned on:

  • Indrias Joseph, in conjunction with tickets presented at River Road Shell, 3002 River Road in Louisville.
  • Jinalben Savadara, in conjunction with tickets presented at Five Points Food Mart, 4548 Taylorsville Rd in Louisville.
  • Divyang M. Vyas, also in conjunction with tickets presented at Five Points Food Mart, 4548 Taylorsville Rd in Louisville.

Vadara and Vyas were indicted together, under the same case number. Their case will proceed in Division 13 of Jefferson Circuit Court. They will be arraigned on Monday at 3:30 p.m. Joseph's case will proceed in Division 7 of Jefferson Circuit Court. He will be arraigned on Monday at 11:30 a.m.

(See the full indictments)

"The Kentucky Revised Statutes governing the lottery specify what shall be the appropriate penalties if those persons accused of undermining the integrity of the Kentucky Lottery. In the spring of 2018, the Kentucky Lottery Corporation's security department met with prosecutors from our office to discuss this investigation. The indictments returned today by the Jefferson County Grand Jury are the result of the hard work of those investigators and prosecutors," said Commonwealth's Attorney Thomas B. Wine.  "Store clerks who do not follow Kentucky Lottery policies, cheat not only individual winners and the Kentucky Lottery but the people of the Commonwealth as  well."

"While I'm disappointed in the actions of these individuals, I continue to believe the overwhelming majority of our retailers and their clerks are honest in their dealings with our players," said KLC President and CEO Tom Delacenserie.

"There is a low-tech way and a high-tech way for players to always protect themselves whenever they have a winning ticket," he said. "When at a retailer, players should always sign the back of any tickets before they hand them over to be checked. Also, there are scanners at nearly all of our retail locations which allow you to scan a ticket to see if it's a winner without ever having to hand it over to anyone," he said. In addition, the Kentucky Lottery smartphone app allows plays to scan tickets with their phones to see if a prize has been won.

Players are encouraged to contact the Kentucky Lottery's security department through their Fraud Watch program if they feel they may have not been properly paid a prize. Information can be submitted by phone at (502) 560-1813 or via email at klcfraudwatch@kylottery.com. "We have the ability through our computer systems to quickly look at any single transaction. This allows us to investigate any activity on a ticket to determine what happened at the terminal during a transaction," said Hickerson.

Delacenserie said the Integrity Testing Program will continue with some modifications. "As it takes awhile for these cases to make their way through the legal system, we're taking steps to enforce consequences on retailers who keep winning tickets much more immediately," he said. "These tests continue to be performed, as we want players to be confident their experience at a retailer will be a positive one." As the operation is an ongoing security measure, no additional details will be released at this time.

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22 comments. Last comment 18 days ago by LottoLucy.
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Simpsonville
United States
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January 22, 2015
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Posted: February 28, 2019, 4:28 pm - IP Logged

WTG KLC.  Certainly somebody not familiar with any lottery would say this is entrapment.  Greed is the word that comes to mind.  I love sting operations and hoping the alleged perpetrators get 3 hots and a cot vs probation.

    Raven62's avatar - binary
    25
    New Jersey
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    June 28, 2005
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    Posted: February 28, 2019, 4:45 pm - IP Logged

    What is an honesty test?

    An integrity test is a specific type of personality test designed to assess an applicant's tendency to be honest, trustworthy, and dependable. A lack of integrity is associated with such anti social behaviors as theft, violence, sabotage, disciplinary problems, and absenteeism.

    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.

      noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
      Chasing the Dream.
      White Shores- California
      United States
      Member #136473
      December 12, 2012
      5571 Posts
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      Posted: February 28, 2019, 4:50 pm - IP Logged

      CA lottery was super aggressive with this thing at one time,confiscating equipment, levelling charges on dishonest clerks, then people started complaining.Our Commission thought them too aggressive, whatever that means.Glad to see Ceo Mr Integrity Bill is on the job. Long may you reign.

      Stack has got to be excited by these developing events, you can see it in the " whites in his eyes."Big Smile

       * Voice of Reason *   

       

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

        Avatar
        Kentucky
        United States
        Member #32651
        February 14, 2006
        8190 Posts
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        Posted: February 28, 2019, 7:09 pm - IP Logged

        An undercover operation conducted by the Kentucky Lottery has nabbed three store clerks trying to steal winning tickets.

        A grand jury in Louisville has handed down indictments against three individuals charged with influencing the winning of a lottery prize through coercion, fraud, deception or tampering with lottery equipment or materials, and a separate charge of providing false information to a lottery investigator. The first charge is a class B felony carrying a possible sentence between ten and 20 years, while the second charge is a class D felony carrying a one to five year sentence.

        The Kentucky Lottery's security department launched an Integrity Testing Program to determine if store clerks were following procedures for cashing winning tickets. During the investigation, undercover Lottery security personnel presented clerks with tickets that would scan at the terminal as $18,000 winners.  "When the tickets were presented, security personnel told the clerks he or she didn't know if any of the tickets were winners," said the KLC's Senior Vice President of Security Bill Hickerson. "It was up to the clerks to scan the tickets to see if they were indeed winners."

        During this phase of the operation, Lottery security personnel went to 60 retailers in Louisville between February and July 2018. Some of the retailers were selected based on previous customer complaints or prior cashing activity, while others were randomly selected. Special tickets were produced by the Lottery's instant ticket provider (Scientific Games) for the operation. Internal alerts were received when someone attempted to cash them.

        The results of the Integrity Testing Program were provided to the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office. Their staff presented two cases today against three defendants to the Jefferson County Grand Jury, and indictments were returned on:

        • Indrias Joseph, in conjunction with tickets presented at River Road Shell, 3002 River Road in Louisville.
        • Jinalben Savadara, in conjunction with tickets presented at Five Points Food Mart, 4548 Taylorsville Rd in Louisville.
        • Divyang M. Vyas, also in conjunction with tickets presented at Five Points Food Mart, 4548 Taylorsville Rd in Louisville.

        Vadara and Vyas were indicted together, under the same case number. Their case will proceed in Division 13 of Jefferson Circuit Court. They will be arraigned on Monday at 3:30 p.m. Joseph's case will proceed in Division 7 of Jefferson Circuit Court. He will be arraigned on Monday at 11:30 a.m.

        (See the full indictments)

        "The Kentucky Revised Statutes governing the lottery specify what shall be the appropriate penalties if those persons accused of undermining the integrity of the Kentucky Lottery. In the spring of 2018, the Kentucky Lottery Corporation's security department met with prosecutors from our office to discuss this investigation. The indictments returned today by the Jefferson County Grand Jury are the result of the hard work of those investigators and prosecutors," said Commonwealth's Attorney Thomas B. Wine.  "Store clerks who do not follow Kentucky Lottery policies, cheat not only individual winners and the Kentucky Lottery but the people of the Commonwealth as  well."

        "While I'm disappointed in the actions of these individuals, I continue to believe the overwhelming majority of our retailers and their clerks are honest in their dealings with our players," said KLC President and CEO Tom Delacenserie.

        "There is a low-tech way and a high-tech way for players to always protect themselves whenever they have a winning ticket," he said. "When at a retailer, players should always sign the back of any tickets before they hand them over to be checked. Also, there are scanners at nearly all of our retail locations which allow you to scan a ticket to see if it's a winner without ever having to hand it over to anyone," he said. In addition, the Kentucky Lottery smartphone app allows plays to scan tickets with their phones to see if a prize has been won.

        Players are encouraged to contact the Kentucky Lottery's security department through their Fraud Watch program if they feel they may have not been properly paid a prize. Information can be submitted by phone at (502) 560-1813 or via email at klcfraudwatch@kylottery.com. "We have the ability through our computer systems to quickly look at any single transaction. This allows us to investigate any activity on a ticket to determine what happened at the terminal during a transaction," said Hickerson.

        Delacenserie said the Integrity Testing Program will continue with some modifications. "As it takes awhile for these cases to make their way through the legal system, we're taking steps to enforce consequences on retailers who keep winning tickets much more immediately," he said. "These tests continue to be performed, as we want players to be confident their experience at a retailer will be a positive one." As the operation is an ongoing security measure, no additional details will be released at this time.

        The Kentucky Lottery's security department launched an Integrity Testing Program to determine if store clerks were following procedures for cashing winning tickets.

        I'd like to have a dollar for every time a clerk told me my ticket wasn't a winner when I knew for a fact it was. But usually it was because the clerk made a honest mistake. A lottery knowledgeable store owner told me it might be because the clerk didn't clear the machine or didn't scan the ticket correctly. That's not saying there are clerks hoping someone will not know the value of their ticket and either say it's worthless or only a small amount. 

        Most store clerk jobs are minimum wage or just slightly higher, are employed by the owner of the store, and are not employees of the state lottery. IMO, the problem with this testing program is wrongly assuming all stores with lottery terminals educate their clerks on proper ticket cashing procedures or store owners even place a higher priority on selling lottery tickets. 

        During the investigation, undercover Lottery security personnel presented clerks with tickets that would scan at the terminal as $18,000 winners. 

        In KY only a few stores, designated cashing agents and reginal or lottery headquarters cash tickets valued over $600 and maybe the lottery should do a better job of educating their players.

          Avatar
          Simpsonville
          United States
          Member #163184
          January 22, 2015
          1751 Posts
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          Posted: February 28, 2019, 7:40 pm - IP Logged

          Regional stores that can cash lottery tickets can only go up to $5K; there is one seven miles from me.  (It's Convenient is the name of the store). 

            Avatar
            Kentucky
            United States
            Member #32651
            February 14, 2006
            8190 Posts
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            Posted: February 28, 2019, 8:00 pm - IP Logged

            CA lottery was super aggressive with this thing at one time,confiscating equipment, levelling charges on dishonest clerks, then people started complaining.Our Commission thought them too aggressive, whatever that means.Glad to see Ceo Mr Integrity Bill is on the job. Long may you reign.

            Stack has got to be excited by these developing events, you can see it in the " whites in his eyes."Big Smile

            The current biggest problem in KY is funding teachers pensions, but trying to convict three store clerks of very questionable charges seems to be a top priority. A state legislator is trying to purpose a bill that would allow Internet gambling, including sports betting, and poker and use the profits to help fund teachers pensions. Even though it makes sense, it will never get out of committee.

            There is a store near me that should be an "integrity" investigation target because they would cheat a player out of free ticket.

              Avatar
              Kentucky
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              February 14, 2006
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              Posted: February 28, 2019, 8:17 pm - IP Logged

              Regional stores that can cash lottery tickets can only go up to $5K; there is one seven miles from me.  (It's Convenient is the name of the store). 

              I meant regional office like the one in Lexington. Cashing agents can cash up to $5000 and should make someone trying to cash an $18,000 value ticket in a regular store very suspicious to clerks. Sort reminds me of underage alcohol and beer stings.

                Avatar
                Simpsonville
                United States
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                January 22, 2015
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                Posted: February 28, 2019, 8:19 pm - IP Logged

                Stack47, have you ever been to Derby City Gaming in Louisville?  There's another one near the TN border.   IMO they skirt the no slot machine law here.  They are all based on previous Horse races.   You can hit a button on the slot machine and it tells you the results of a horse race.  Wondering how much KY gets out of these??   One patron won $800 and had to pay taxes which I didn't understand until the horse race nonsense was explained to me by an employee.  The same patron said he won $4K and no taxes taken out.  Guess I'm old school and used to taxes over $1199.00

                Beshear running for Governor wants to put casinos in KY, unless that rhetoric has died out. 

                  oate's avatar - AS5hcja

                  United States
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                  October 22, 2018
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                  Posted: February 28, 2019, 8:27 pm - IP Logged

                  The Kentucky Lottery's security department launched an Integrity Testing Program to determine if store clerks were following procedures for cashing winning tickets.

                  I'd like to have a dollar for every time a clerk told me my ticket wasn't a winner when I knew for a fact it was. But usually it was because the clerk made a honest mistake. A lottery knowledgeable store owner told me it might be because the clerk didn't clear the machine or didn't scan the ticket correctly. That's not saying there are clerks hoping someone will not know the value of their ticket and either say it's worthless or only a small amount. 

                  Most store clerk jobs are minimum wage or just slightly higher, are employed by the owner of the store, and are not employees of the state lottery. IMO, the problem with this testing program is wrongly assuming all stores with lottery terminals educate their clerks on proper ticket cashing procedures or store owners even place a higher priority on selling lottery tickets. 

                  During the investigation, undercover Lottery security personnel presented clerks with tickets that would scan at the terminal as $18,000 winners. 

                  In KY only a few stores, designated cashing agents and reginal or lottery headquarters cash tickets valued over $600 and maybe the lottery should do a better job of educating their players.

                  IMO, the problem with this testing program is wrongly assuming all stores with lottery terminals educate their clerks on proper ticket cashing procedures

                  This operation is correctly designed to only bust dishonest clerks because the clerks' intention to defraud was evidenced by them taking the tickets to the claim center to redeem for themselves. An honest but dumb clerk who didn't understand how to use the scanner or know jack about cashing procedures wouldn't go that far, and so they wouldn't get arrested and indicted for fraud in this sting, maybe just sent to a re-education camp. Wink

                  Only my hairdresser knows for sure.

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                    Louisiana
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                    Posted: February 28, 2019, 9:54 pm - IP Logged

                    There's a lot of dishonest cashiers behind the counters at convenience stores. 

                    All number sets are contenders until the drawing occurs.

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                      Kentucky
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                      Posted: February 28, 2019, 11:50 pm - IP Logged

                      Stack47, have you ever been to Derby City Gaming in Louisville?  There's another one near the TN border.   IMO they skirt the no slot machine law here.  They are all based on previous Horse races.   You can hit a button on the slot machine and it tells you the results of a horse race.  Wondering how much KY gets out of these??   One patron won $800 and had to pay taxes which I didn't understand until the horse race nonsense was explained to me by an employee.  The same patron said he won $4K and no taxes taken out.  Guess I'm old school and used to taxes over $1199.00

                      Beshear running for Governor wants to put casinos in KY, unless that rhetoric has died out. 

                      The Red Mile has the same type of "slot machines" and 2 weeks ago someone won a $379,372 jackpot.

                        Loosechange45's avatar - Lottery-065.jpg

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                        Posted: March 1, 2019, 9:08 am - IP Logged

                        I just check my own ticket.  3x's have i been told they were not winners one was for 10$ but one was for 100$. I only go to big chain  stores to cash out my ticket.. the convenience stores seem to be  where the problems happen. One time the guy said my tix wouldn't scan  he was going to keep it I said I wanted it back it was 1$ winner.

                        089 072 176

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                          Simpsonville
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                          Posted: March 1, 2019, 3:04 pm - IP Logged

                          The Red Mile has the same type of "slot machines" and 2 weeks ago someone won a $379,372 jackpot.

                          Now there are least four of them in KY.  In Oct 2018 a Judge ruled that these machines which resemble slot machines are legal because they offer pari-mutuel wagering on old horse races.

                            noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
                            Chasing the Dream.
                            White Shores- California
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                            Posted: March 1, 2019, 4:44 pm - IP Logged

                            There's a lot of dishonest cashiers behind the counters at convenience stores. 

                            Dishonesty exists everywhere. There are lots of honest clerks who work at convenient stores though. I guess they have been trained & warned to " stay on the straight & narrow" or else it's lockup.The mere thought of being thrown in with the general population in prison, is hair raising to say the least.Crazy

                            Then being told not to " drop the  soap" if you ever end up there, reinforces their commitment to be honest, this side of prison.Yes Nod

                             * Voice of Reason *   

                             

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