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Svea, Minn., woman allegedly took $29K in lotto tickets

WILLMAR — Janice Marie Wadsworth, 59, of Svea, made her first court appearance Wednesday on two felony charges of theft and state lottery fraud for allegedly stealing more than $29,000 in lottery tickets from her employer.

Wadsworth was released on her personal recognizance. Her next appearance is Jan. 22 in Kandiyohi County District Court.

According to the complaint, the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the theft of lottery tickets at Eagle Lake Country Store in July.

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, store officials presented investigators with a final summary from March to August, showing that $29,424.50 in lottery tickets had been stolen. They had compared two documents, one that Wadsworth allegedly changed to include the stolen tickets, and one that she did not change, to determine how many tickets had been taken from the store.

After the final tally was given, Wadsworth was interviewed by investigators and allegedly admitted to taking the tickets without paying for them. 

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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