July 13, 2013 in Nation/World

Ex-lottery official admits scheme

Associated Press
 

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A former Arkansas Lottery security official pleaded guilty Friday to a long-running scheme in which he’s accused of stealing and cashing nearly a half-million dollars’ worth of scratch-off tickets.

Lottery Director Bishop Woosley said the theft by Remmele Mazyck, 34, started in 2009 when the lottery launched. It wasn’t discovered until October 2012, when 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.

Mazyck, whose title was deputy security director, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges Friday in federal court. He will be sentenced later.

The lottery said Mazyck cashed 22,710 tickets worth about $478,000.

Officials allege Mazyck used his own security clearance to code tickets from the lottery’s warehouse as promotional giveaways. He allegedly scratched the tickets to see if they were winners, cashing those worth less than $500. Prizes of $500 or more have to be cashed at a lottery office, which would have blown the scheme, Woosley said.

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