September 14, 2018

Cashier tells lottery winner his prize is only $5, but she picked the wrong customer to scam

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The cashier realized that the customer had won some money, but instead decided that she would keep most of the money for herself.

Crystelle Baton, a cashier from Fort Myers, was arrested for trying to keep a customer’s winning lottery ticket.

Baton thought she would get away with scamming a player who won $600 worth of ticket, but what she didn't know was that the player was actually an undercover agent on duty.

The Florida Lottery Commission stated that Baton was working at the register at the Winn-Dixie Liquors on Gladiolus Drive when the undercover agent disguised as a customer came up to her with a winning ticket.


Source: Freepik

She scanned his ticket and realized that he had won a $600 prize. However, instead of congratulating him on the win, the investigator reported that she pulled $5 out of her purse and told the man that it was the worth of the ticket.


Nadina Puzic, a customer at the store, said, "Anyone that is working in a customer service job, you think that they are doing what is in your best interest. I would be very upset if someone took that from me.”

The agent working for the Lottery’s security division returned with the $5 that Baton gave him, but soon returned to the store to bust her.


The undercover job was a part of an integrity investigation, random visits the Lottery Commission makes to sellers to ensure that the game is fair to everyone who buys a ticket.

Following the bust, the store, Winn-Dixie, released a statement: "We are taking this matter very seriously as the trust and safety of our customers is our highest priority. The associate’s employment has been terminated." 


It was later found that Baton hid the winning ticket inside, was charged with grand theft, and posted a $5000 bond.

In the meantime, it's not only employees scamming lottery players, but sometimes the other way around. In the UK, Edward Putman, from Kings Langley in Hertfordshire, came forward in 2009 with a winning lottery ticket after no one had claimed the £2.5m prize. 


After it was paid out, however, it came to light that the 53-year-old had used a fake ticket to claim the money. It took six years for someone to come forward to make a claim that the ticket Putman had used was not a genuine lottery ticket. 

An investigation launched in 2015 took three years to prove the claim, and Putman has been charged with "fraud by false representation."