Man who stole from Silvertips raffle sentenced

An Edmonds man who 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 was sentenced Thursday to 45 days in jail.

Sean Tindall, 37, may be allowed to serve his time in work release, which would allow him to continue earning money to speed up restitution. He had previously pleaded guilty to first-degree theft, a felony, admitting he blew the stolen money on his gambling addiction.

Tindall, who had no prior criminal convictions, told Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Cowsert that he was sorry for what he did and will pay back the Seattle Junior Hockey Association as quickly as he can.

“There is nothing I can do to take back what I did,” Tindall said.

Cowsert told Tindall he should contemplate some of the questions posed in a letter by Seattle Junior Hockey Association leaders who wondered how Tindall could steal money from children.

Just how much Tindall stole is unclear.

The Washington State Gambling Commission estimates he stole $14,200, but an internal audit by the youth hockey association places the amount in the $25,000 range, said Mark Bridges, a deputy prosecutor. The final bill, which will include interest, will be determined by an agreement or a restitution hearing.

Tindall was a longtime volunteer with the Seattle Junior Hockey Association in Mountlake Terrace. He told investigators he’d been stealing raffle proceeds since 2004 to feed his gambling addiction, court documents show.

The investigation was conducted by the gambling commission, which regulates the nonprofit hockey association’s raffles and bingo games.

The long-standing association is one of the biggest youth hockey programs in the state and every year 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 Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446 or

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