A cashier at Fort Myers, Crystelle Baton, was busted after she tried to keep a customer’s winning lottery ticket for herself.
Baton was convinced that she was scamming just your average player who won $600 worth of ticket. But what she didn’t know was that the player was an undercover investigative officer on duty, as per a report from NBC 2.
The cashier working at the Florida Lottery Commission stated that Baton was on duty at the register at the Winn-Dixie Liquors on Gladiolus Drive when the undercover officer showed up with a winning ticket.
After scanning his ticket, she realized that he had won a $600 prize. Then instead of telling him about his big win, she decided to keep the winning ticket for herself. She pulled out a $5 out of her purse and told the officer that his ticket was worth just that much.
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The source quoted one of the regular customers at the store as saying, “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.”
After being handed $5, the officer, working for the Lottery’s security division, returned only to revisit the store moments later to bust the woman.
To ensure that the game is played fairly among all the players, the Lottery Commission makes random visits to the ticket sellers as a part of an integrity investigation.
The store where Baton worked, Winn-Dixie, also released a statement following her arrest. It stated: “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.”
For hiding the winning ticket, Baton was charged with grand theft and posted a $5,000 bond.
Meanwhile, Miami Herald quoted a reader commenting on NBC 2’s website that such lottery scam was way too common than one would imagine. To stay safe from such frauds, the reader writes his name on the back of the ticket before handing it over to the cashier.
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