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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Lilac Lanes managers accused of theft

The top managers at Spokane's Lilac Lanes are accused of stealing nearly $175,000 from the business.

Eddie S. Williams, 44, and Shari Cawley were arrested today at the bowling alley and gambling hall, located at 1112 East Magnesium Road.

Washington State Gambling Commission investigators say the two shorted an ATM daily over the course of a year. Employees came forward after Williams and Cawley ordered them to destroy financial records and erase video tapes to hide the theft, said Gary Drumheller, agent in charge for the Gambling Commission in Spokane.

The investigation began Thursday with the help of Lilac Lanes' owners and an accounting firm that audited the business last year. Financial records show $173,000 in missing funds, Drumheller said.

Drumheller called the tipsters "good employees and honest people trying to just do their jobs."

Williams was booked into Spokane County Jail Tuesday afternoon on charges of first-degree theft, two counts of gambling (fraud/deception) and obstructing a public officer.

Drumheller said Cawley was booked, but jail officials had no record of her this afternoon. Gambling agents searched her home at 12023 N. Dakota Lane as part of today's investigation. Investigators haven't determined if any of the items were purchased with stolen money, Drumheller said.

Lilac Lanes remains open, and Drumheller said the Gambling Commission will work with the owners, who he described as "cooperative," while they find new management.

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