Little Rock, AR – An ex-Arkansas state lottery official admits he stole tickets worth nearly half a million dollars.
Thirty-four-year-old Remmele Mazyck was suspended from his position as the Arkansas Lottery’s deputy director of security in October 2012 on suspicion he stole tickets. He was subsequently fired several weeks later, according to the Huffington Post.
State gaming officials indicated that from November 2009 to October 2012, Mazyck cashed in 22,710 tickets worth about $478,000.
An investigation began after a clerk at a Jonesboro retailer raised questions about lottery tickets Mazyck tried to cash that were registered to a store no longer in business, reports Boston.
The former Arkansas lottery official, who annually earned $76,500, pled guilty Friday to the white-collar crimes of wire fraud and money laundering in federal court.
Mazyck was released on his own recognizance, pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
White-collar crime is financially motivated non-violent crime committed for illegal monetary gain. White-collar crime is the commission of fraud, bribery, Ponzi schemes, insider trading, embezzlement, cyber-crime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft, and forgery.
In this case, Mazyck had used his insider lottery position for access and fraudulently stole tickets for financial gain. Mazyck had been part of a five-person team tasked with doing background checks, investigating complaints, working with police on lottery-related crime, checking in lottery ticket shipments and overseeing security at lottery facilities.
Arkansas law permits lottery workers to collect prizes of less than $500.
Therefore, officials allege Mazyck used his own security clearance to code tickets from the lottery’s warehouse, scratching the tickets to see if they were winners. He then cashed those worth less than $500. Prizes of $500 or more have to be cashed at a lottery office.
The Arkansas Lottery said its insurer will cover the losses suffered from the stolen tickets.
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