A 35-year-old Vacaville, California, man who police say stole his roommate's lottery ticket worth $10 million late last year has been released from custody.
Court and Solano County Jail records on Friday indicated only that Adul Saosongyang had been relegated to a "local commitment" under the state Penal Code, but the status of his case remains unclear.
Judge Carlos R. Gutierrez had scheduled a jury trial for 9 a.m. June 26 but clerks with the Solano County Sheriff's Office told The Reporter on Friday he had been released on June 25. Neither court nor jail records indicated if and when Saosongyang would return to court or why he was released.
During previous proceedings, Deputy Public Defender Sara Johnson successfully argued a reduction in Saosongyang's bail, from $65,000 to $25,000. She noted the main allegation, grand theft, was a property crime, not a violent one.
Saosongyang has pleaded not guilty to the main charge and that of receiving stolen property.
According to Vacaville police, on Dec. 20, the victim bought a $30 Scratchers lottery ticket at the Lucky supermarket on Peabody Road in Vacaville, hoping to win some money for the holidays. It was a winner, indeed, and he thought the prize was worth $10,000.
(See California man learns $10 million reason not to tell your roommate if you win the lottery, Lottery Post, Jan. 9, 2019.)
After his telling roommates, including Saosongyang, about his good fortune, he stashed the ticket in a jacket pocket, then fell asleep.
The next morning the victim visited the California Lottery's district office in Sacramento only to find his ticket not only wasn't a winner but two of the numbers also had been altered, police said.
Suspecting his roommates of foul play while he slept, the victim notified Vacaville police.
The next day, Saosongyang attempted to claim the prize money at the same Sacramento lottery office, where he was told it was worth $10 million, not $10,000.
Following their custom and practice, lottery officials immediately began a routine investigation to verify all winnings over $600.
At the Vacaville Lucky store, a lottery investigator was told the ticket might be stolen. At that point, the lottery investigator and a Vacaville police detective began working together on an apparent theft investigation, police said.
Shortly afterward, lottery and police officials determined the roommate had purchased a similar Scratchers ticket, altered it, then swapped it with the multimillion-dollar winner.
The lottery investigator then invited Saosongyang to the Sacramento office to collect on the ticket. Once there, Vacaville detectives arrested him on a warrant for grand theft. He was booked into Sacramento County Jail, then transferred to Solano County Jail in Fairfield.
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