Employees allegedly took lottery winnings from customers

The man and woman worked at a Sultan gas station and reportedly redeemed stolen tickets for $40,000.

SULTAN — Two gas station employees in Sultan are accused of taking customers’ winning lottery tickets for themselves and claiming more than $40,000, according to a deputy sheriff’s report.

A 30-year-old man from Gold Bar and a 29-year-old woman from Monroe were booked Thursday into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of forgery.

The man was working April 22 when he took a ticket from a Washington’s Lottery investigator, court papers say. He allegedly said it wasn’t a winner, even though the lottery machine said otherwise, and kept it.

Three days later, the man and his coworker reportedly took the ticket to the regional lottery office in Everett to collect the prize. The woman presented her driver’s license and Social Security card while the man stood to the side, the deputy’s report says. A security camera captured the transaction.

“Both had several days to think about their intentions and they still conspired to defraud the state,” a Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy wrote.

The deputy wrote that the woman had collected winnings using tickets from the gas station six other times within a four-month period. She also reportedly bought a 2003 Lincoln Navigator using $4,000 in cash.

Both suspects have previous theft-related convictions. The man was sentenced to three months in jail for second-degree robbery, while the woman has pleaded guilty to residential robbery and identity theft.

This is the second pair of arrests involving alleged lottery theft in the past month in Snohomish County. An Everett couple are suspected of redeeming tickets taken from a gas station, winning more than $14,000.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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