Edmonds man admits to Silvertips raffle theft

EVERETT — An Edmonds man admitted he pocketed thousands of dollars from Silvertips fans who bought tickets for the popular 50/50 raffle that supports junior hockey players around Snohomish County.

Sean Tindall, 37, pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree theft, a felony.

Tindall has no prior criminal convictions. Prosecutors will recommend he spend 45 days in jail, court documents show. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 16 in Snohomish County Superior Court.

Tindall was a longtime volunteer with the Seattle Junior Hockey Association in Mountlake Terrace. He stole at least $14,000 from the association’s raffles at Silvertips games, according to court records.

Tindall told investigators he’d been stealing raffle proceeds since 2004 to feed his gambling addiction, court documents show.

The investigation was conducted by the Washington State Gambling Commission, which regulates the nonprofit hockey association’s raffles and bingo games.

The longstanding association is one of the biggest youth hockey programs in the state and every years serves up to 600 kids ages 5 to 18. There are more than 30 teams, and the organization helps operate two ice rinks in south Snohomish County.

The hockey league uses the 50/50 raffle at Tips games to help families offset the costs of tournaments and travel expenses, association officials said.

League officials first brought the suspected theft to the attention of the gambling commission in November after learning that Tindall owed money to a sporting goods store and a spring hockey league.

Tindall was one of the lead raffle record keepers and handled cash, court documents show. The association audited the raffle records handled by Tindall and found discrepancies in the number of tickets he reported sold as well as gaps in raffle ticket numbers, prosecutors wrote.

Tindall didn’t record the sales of more than 10,000 tickets for two dozen raffles between March 2006 and October 2007.

Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or hefley@heraldnet.com.

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