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Wisconsin woman receives probation for stealing and cashing $25,000 lottery ticket

May 28, 2020, 8:32 am

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Wisconsin LotteryWisconsin Lottery: Wisconsin woman receives probation for stealing and cashing $25,000 lottery ticketRating:

Former convenience store clerk gets a total of three years' probation for theft and fraud

By Kate Northrop

PORTAGE, Wisc. — Jessica N. Surratt, 32, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin was sentenced on Tuesday to two years of probation after pleading guilty to fraud for cashing a winning ticket worth $25,000.

This is in addition to the one year of probation she was initially handed for the theft of tickets back in 2018.

On June 16, 2018, Surratt stole nine scratch-off lottery tickets from the Portage Market Basket store at which she worked. One of those tickets was a $25,000 winner. She claimed the lottery prize and was awarded $15,822 after taxes.

On the morning of June 21, a representative from the Wisconsin State Lottery visited the convenience store to tell the manager that a $25,000 winning lottery ticket had been sold there. The manager recalled that Surratt had worked the previous Saturday night and Sunday morning, but then suspiciously called in sick the following days.

The store manager called the Portage Police Department that evening and informed investigators.

A customer who witnessed Surratt hiding the tickets at the store told Portage police that she saw her tear several scratch-off lottery tickets off their rolls and stuff them under the counter. The witness took note of the tickets Surratt snatched: two worth $30, two $5, and five $2 tickets.

In September 2018, Surratt received one year of probation for retail theft.

The state Department of Revenue filed a complaint against Surratt for claiming the prize. The complaint cites Surratt meeting with State Capitol Police Detective Mark Ellington at the Eau Claire County Jail in October 2019. There, she admitted to signing the claim form and cashing the prize money check.

Surratt was then charged on Dec. 2, 2019 with fraudulent writings and uttering a forgery for claiming the prize she won with the stolen "One Million Now" scratch-off ticket. She was arrested by Portage police for theft and later pleaded no contest to misdemeanor retail theft.

As a repeat offender, Surratt originally faced up to eight years of combined prison and extended supervision on each charge.

A forgery charge against Surratt was dismissed as part of a plea deal. The agreement led Assistant District Attorney Dan Hess and state Assistant Public Defender Svetlana Taylor to recommend a two-year probation to Dane County Circuit Judge John Hyland, in addition to the one-year probation that Surrat had already received in 2018 for retail theft.

With regard to the sentence, Hyland noted that the probation outcome was an appropriate consequence that allowed Surratt to take "timely responsibility."

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22 comments. Last comment 3 months ago by cbr$.
Page 1 of 2
Unlucky-Kenny's avatar - Cigar B1.gif
HUDSON, WI
United States
Member #202058
November 7, 2019
1455 Posts
Offline

Hey look our state made the news!!!!

Oh wait......this isn't a good article.

Dead

LOL

Glad she got caught - this kind of crap makes players disgruntled.

To bad she did not see some bars though.

 

I remember how upset I was when I read this article while back about WI:

https://www.wisconsinwatch.org/2018/03/some-people-repeatedly-win-the-wisconsin-lottery-do-they-play-fair/

 

Lots of big consistent winners in both WI and around the country happen to be store owners or work for stores - seems fishy.

    SaraAnnRapp's avatar - Lottery-059.jpg

    United States
    Member #205233
    March 19, 2020
    316 Posts
    Offline

    How did she know there was a winning ticket? What?

      Unlucky-Kenny's avatar - Cigar B1.gif
      HUDSON, WI
      United States
      Member #202058
      November 7, 2019
      1455 Posts
      Offline

      How did she know there was a winning ticket? What?

      Either got stupid lucky or has been micro scratching for a long time - but that was the only time she got caught maybe?

      Who knows.

        Avatar
        Simpsonville
        United States
        Member #163184
        January 22, 2015
        2253 Posts
        Offline

        Chalk up another one for the stupid criminals caught.

         

        Strange that restitution of the winnings wasn't part of the deal, though I doubt they'd see their money paid her.

        Surratt will never take "time responsibility"; what was Hyland thinking?  She's a career criminal who may move onto bigger and better things.

        Kudos to all the good folks that went after Surratt.

          music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
          USN United States Navy
          Fresno, California
          United States
          Member #157851
          August 2, 2014
          3959 Posts
          Offline

          Jessica N. Surratt, 32, could have at least 50 years of life remaining. She is ruining her employment resume for the rest of her life. 

           Is there a government place where future employers of criminals can find past crimes committed by felons? Jessica might lie on her resume but I hope there is somewhere online that tells the truth about her past.

           If Jessica was a man, "Jess" so to speak, he would have done time the first time around. 

           Jessica probably committed tax fraud as well.

           "We are all in this together!" 

            Avatar
            Simpsonville
            United States
            Member #163184
            January 22, 2015
            2253 Posts
            Offline

            Friends that have/are working for Public Defenders office can access Facebook accounts of criminals and law enforcement uses that too.   You'd be surprised by the folks of what they post about crimes they've committed!

            To make a long story short, HR departments have access to all kinds of things @ their disposal.   I'll have to ask about on-line tools used like you asked.

              cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

              United States
              Member #197033
              March 28, 2019
              541 Posts
              Offline

              These scratch off thieves we always read about are too greedy for their own good. She could have covered her tracks by giving the winning ticket to a friend and then telling that friend to come into the store to buy more of the same scratch off. Or better yet, just tear up any big winners and keep only the small winners that can be cashed at a gas station. If your job is selling lottery products, aren't you supposed to know they are designed to be highly traceable? LOL

              ... Sooper dooper top seekrit winning numbers: 5 16 17 24 33 52 ...

                Unlucky-Kenny's avatar - Cigar B1.gif
                HUDSON, WI
                United States
                Member #202058
                November 7, 2019
                1455 Posts
                Offline

                These scratch off thieves we always read about are too greedy for their own good. She could have covered her tracks by giving the winning ticket to a friend and then telling that friend to come into the store to buy more of the same scratch off. Or better yet, just tear up any big winners and keep only the small winners that can be cashed at a gas station. If your job is selling lottery products, aren't you supposed to know they are designed to be highly traceable? LOL

                Yeah seriously.

                Begs the question how many get away with it on a regular basis because they use 5% of their brain

                LOL

                  reddog's avatar - rickyavatar4
                  Durham, North Carolina
                  United States
                  Member #1616
                  June 5, 2003
                  2857 Posts
                  Offline

                  She got off easy. Should had at least done some community service along with the probation.

                  Taking it one drawing at a time.

                    Avatar
                    New Member

                    United States
                    Member #205225
                    March 19, 2020
                    14 Posts
                    Offline

                    She steals tickets from her employer and then cashes in a major prize tickets.  You call PROBATION just punishment!?

                    What, did the judge forget to buy her dinner and give the lady $500 in gift cards to boot?

                      Unlucky-Kenny's avatar - Cigar B1.gif
                      HUDSON, WI
                      United States
                      Member #202058
                      November 7, 2019
                      1455 Posts
                      Offline

                      She steals tickets from her employer and then cashes in a major prize tickets.  You call PROBATION just punishment!?

                      What, did the judge forget to buy her dinner and give the lady $500 in gift cards to boot?

                      Confused the heck out of me too - slap on the wrist.

                      She will start scamming somewhere else probably.

                        Avatar
                        Simpsonville
                        United States
                        Member #163184
                        January 22, 2015
                        2253 Posts
                        Offline

                        For current inmates in KY you can look them up on KOOL under KY DOC; however once they are released HR et al would have to pay to find out someone's questionable past according to my friend here. 

                          Avatar
                          Florida
                          United States
                          Member #186825
                          January 2, 2018
                          292 Posts
                          Offline

                          These scratch off thieves we always read about are too greedy for their own good. She could have covered her tracks by giving the winning ticket to a friend and then telling that friend to come into the store to buy more of the same scratch off. Or better yet, just tear up any big winners and keep only the small winners that can be cashed at a gas station. If your job is selling lottery products, aren't you supposed to know they are designed to be highly traceable? LOL

                          Mighty clever cottoneyedjoe but scratchoff tickets usually have to be scanned at point of sale which gives retailers a day/time to pull cameras. You'd probably have to be a manager to get away with it even through a friend. Mind you you don't know which ticket in the pac is a claimer.

                            cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

                            United States
                            Member #197033
                            March 28, 2019
                            541 Posts
                            Offline

                            Mighty clever cottoneyedjoe but scratchoff tickets usually have to be scanned at point of sale which gives retailers a day/time to pull cameras. You'd probably have to be a manager to get away with it even through a friend. Mind you you don't know which ticket in the pac is a claimer.

                            Scratch off theft does seem to be a crime that's hard to get away with -- except maybe for petty amounts that aren't worth the effort. The thieves who've figured it out are the ones we'll never read about.

                            ... Sooper dooper top seekrit winning numbers: 5 16 17 24 33 52 ...