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Five charged in Pennsylvania lottery ticket thefts

Feb 20, 2004, 6:44 am

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Pennsylvania LotteryPennsylvania Lottery: Five charged in Pennsylvania lottery ticket thefts

A mother and daughter and three other employees of a Scranton, Pennsylvania convenience market stole more than $62,000 last year by taking thousands of instant lottery tickets and cashing in winners, a Lackawanna County detective charged Thursday.

The five were tripped up when the owner of Sdventh Avenue Kwik N Ezy Kwik Mart noticed a large discrepancy in lottery ticket sales during a year-end review of accounts, according to an arrest affidavit.

They are charged with single counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition.

The five, who, according to the affidavit, all confessed when confronted, are:

Judith R. Ziegler, 56, 350 Lawall St. She admitted taking tickets she didn't pay for and cashing in about $1,000 worth of winners, according to the affidavit.

Anjil M. Ziegler, 22, 1072 Pear St., Apt. 7-A, Judith Ziegler's daughter. She admitted to taking 3,000 tickets without paying for them and cashing in winners, according to the affidavit. The amount of her winnings was not listed.

Joseph Wyman, 18, 607 Townhouse Blvd., who told police he uses the nickname James. He took between 800 and 1,000 tickets, but said it could have been more than 1,000, according to the affidavit. He said his biggest winner was $100.

Jessica K. O'Donnell, 19, 1805 Lafayette St. She admitted taking between 50 and 100 tickets and her biggest winner was a $100 ticket.

Maryann Grems, 41, 1128 Cedar Ave. She admitted taking between 200 and 300 tickets without paying for them and cashing in about $500 worth of winners.

All five were released on their own recognizance after District Justice Terrence V. Gallagher set unsecured bail of $5,000 for Ms. O'Donnell and $10,000 for the others.

Mr. Gallagher scheduled preliminary hearings for Wednesday.

County Detective Lisa M. Bauer filed the charges based partly on information supplied by a private detective for the company, Walter P. Carlson, who began his investigation Dec. 26 after receiving a call from Mr. Darrow.

Mr. Carlson found thefts of tickets dating back to Jan. 9, 2003, and lasting into December, according to the affidavit.

Scranton Times

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