Published on November 24th, 2015 | by Day Trader
Undercover Sting Finds 4 Alleged Scammers Trying to Cash In Winning Lottery Payouts
Have you ever thought you won lottery payments from a ticket only to find out from the store clerk you read the instructions wrong? You might want to make absolutely sure that’s really the case next time after a recent case that found four employees of three Mesa County, CO stores allegedly tried to get the lottery payouts from customers winning scratch-off tickets, according to The Daily Sentinel.
The Colorado Department of Revenue and the Colorado Lottery Enforcement Division uncovered the fraudulent schemes through an undercover sting operation that took place between Oct. 12 and the 15th. The employees are now facing charges for telling customers they had not won and trying to collect the lump sum lottery payouts themselves.
At least one of the alleged schemers, Todd Stenhouse, faces felony charges of criminal attempt and forgery. Stenhouse, an employee of Shell Monument Food Mart, had an undercover officer come in to his store with five tickets; four losers and one worth a $5,000 lump sum lottery payout.
While this certainly isn’t enough to receive a lottery annuity to live off of like many winners choose to do (52% of winners don’t work after winning the lotto), it’s stilla significant amount of money to in essence try and steal right from someones hand.
Even though the officer heard the music that plays after a winner has been scanned, Stenhouse told her that all the tickets had been previously paid and kept the ticket. He later had his wife, Megan, try to redeem the ticket at the Grand Junction lottery office, according to an affidavit for Stenhouse.
For Megan’s part, she claims Todd told her he had found the ticket in the parking lot at which he works.
?While talking to Megan Stenhouse, she told Todd Stenhouse to tell the truth. Todd said he messed up and did a wrong thing, knew the ticket was a $5,000 winner and did not give the ticket back to the undercover operative,? the affidavit said. ?Todd Stenhouse said he lied to his wife about how he got the ticket, screwed up, it was his fault and was going back to Shell Monument Food Mart to tell them what happened.?
None of the amounts were for jackpot-size winnings in which the government takes up to 25% of, such as the Mega Millions annuity, which is paid out as one immediate payment followed by 29 annual payments that grow by 5%.