October 27, 2012

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Woman arrested in scratch-off lottery scam

MONTICELLO – A Cuddebackville woman was arrested by Sullivan County Sheriff’s deputies after she allegedly scratched off the tiny control number on instant lottery tickets where she worked at Smoker’s Choice on Route 42 in Monticello and scanned them to see if they were winners.

Deputies allege that Nicole Schultz, 29, carefully scratched off the control number located in the bottom corner of instant winning lottery tickets from September 24 through October 16. If they were winners, she cashed them in. If they were losers, she sold them to unsuspecting customers.

The scam began to unravel on October 17 when a customer brought a ticket back to the store and spoke to the manager. The customer noticed that even though the ticket appeared intact and had not been scratched off, the material covering the control number in the corner was missing.

The customer believed the ticket was compromised.

Deputies reviewed the store’s surveillance and believe as many as 60 instant lottery tickets may be involved.

Schultz was arrested and charged with the felonies of first-degree forgery and first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.  She was arraigned and sent to the Sullivan County Jail in lieu of $250 bail.


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