Arkansas Lottery Sued Over Scratch-off Thefts
Aug. 9, 2013 – A lawsuit filed Wednesday claims that the Arkansas Lottery should have adjusted the reported odds of scratch-off games after a former security officer stole more than 22,000 tickets from the Lottery’s warehouse.
The lawsuit was filed by Raymond L. Brock and Rick Tomboli of Pulaski Co., Ark., and is seeking unspecified damages, according to the Associated Press.
Over three years, beginning shortly after he was hired in 2009, Remmele Mazyck stole packs of 300 tickets from the Lottery’s warehouse, using his position as deputy director of security to conceal the theft.
Mazyck would scan the tickets as promotional items, meaning they were not meant for sale at a retailer, and would then cash in the tickets himself. He was eventually caught when a retailer noticed one of the winning tickets Mazcyk brought in to cash was registered to a store that had gone out of business.
Lottery director Bishop Woosley was alerted to Mazyck’s scheme in October last year, and immediately placed him on leave. Mazyck was fired in November after he failed to show up to a meeting with Woosley to discuss the thefts.
In all, Mazyck stole 22,710 winning tickets, collecting $478,073. He pleaded guilty to money laundering and wire fraud in July, and has agreed to pay restitution up to $482,671, though he told the court he had no resources to do so.
The lawsuit filed against the Lottery claims that because of the number of tickets stolen and the amount of prizes cashed in, the Lottery should have notified players that the odds of winning on certain games, as well as the prizes available, had changed.
“The lottery repeatedly misrepresented to the public the number and cash value of the prizes still available in various scratch-off games,” the lawsuit says.