Man charged with cashing stolen lottery tickets | News
FORREST CITY, AR- (WMC-TV) - Lottery ticket sales kept one Forrest City convenience store clerk busy Friday as the lure of easy money brought customers through the door.
"Haven't got anything so far," said one customer. "Don't even get one number most of the times."
"Might get your money back," said another customer.
Police say 45 year-old Earnest Moore recently cashed in nearly three dozen lottery tickets at a number of Forrest City convenience stores before it was determined those tickets had been stolen during a burglary in West Memphis.
"It's one of those crimes that, generally speaking, if you commit it," said Arkansas Lottery spokesperson Julie Baldridge. "You might as well bring the handcuffs with you."
Every ticket has a serial number and can be easily tracked by the lottery commission. Instant tickets, or scratch-offs, have internal sensors imbedded in the paper.
The lottery commission contacted Forrest City Police when they discovered stolen tickets had been cashed in. Surveillance video and other information led to Moore. He was charged with 27 counts of lottery fraud. All of the charges are felonies.
"And with each one that you touch, each one you steal, each one you tamper with," said Baldridge. "That's a separate felony."
Lottery money pays for college scholarships. Forrest City's police chief said students are the ones who suffer whenever fraud occurs.
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