Svea, Minn., woman enters plea to lotto ticket theft charge
WILLMAR — Janice Marie Wadsworth, 59, of Svea, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony charge of state lottery fraud for stealing more than $29,000 in lottery tickets from her employer.
As part of the plea agreement reached in Kandiyohi County District Court, another felony for theft will be dismissed and she will receive a stay of imposition on her sentence. Under the stay, the felony conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor if she complies with the conditions of her sentence.
Sentencing is Oct. 2.
The charges were filed after the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the theft of lottery tickets at Eagle Lake Country Store in July 2012. Store officials told investigators that they had instituted a tracking system, including the number of tickets sold and dollar amounts taken in sales, after another recent case of lottery ticket theft at the store.
An audit of the tracking system showed inconsistencies between ticket sales and dollars on weekdays, which was when Wadsworth worked.
In addition, other employees reported seeing the high-dollar lottery scratch-off tickets, worth $10, $20 or $30, in the trash can after Wadsworth’s shifts at the store.
The audit also showed no inconsistencies after Wadsworth was notified that there would be an audit of the lottery ticket sales.
In September 2012, store officials presented investigators with a final summary from March to August, showing that $29,424.50 in lottery tickets had been stolen.