Not the first Muslim lottery scam to occur in the U.S. Prior posts here.
TAMPA, Fla. – Authorities say a local convenience store clerk was cashing in by cheating, while selling customers worthless tickets.
Lottery officials say he got greedy and tried to cash in too many big winning lottery scratch-off tickets at the Tampa Lottery District Office.
One major red flag was when he tried to claim a $500 winning scratch-off ticket that hadn’t even been scratched.
For more than a year, lottery officials believe an employee of a Radiant convenience store on North Dale Mabry Highway stole from the lottery and customers.
The process involves using a small blade to scratch off part of a lottery ticket, exposing a number that can be read by a lottery terminal to determine if it is a winner.
Records show Faragallah cashed in at least seven winning tickets valued at $1,000 each.
Each had odds of winning of between 1-in-1,153 and 1-in-2,069.
In order to guarantee that many wins through buying tickets, Faragallah would have had to have purchased more than $250,000 worth of tickets in a year-long period.
Police believe he didn’t pay his employer for the winning tickets, but cashed the smaller wins in at the store.
He was required by law to redeem wins of more than $600 at the Florida Lottery District Office.
Officials got suspicious when Faragallah tried to cash in a $500 ticket that hadn’t yet been scratched, and began an investigation.
A police report says investigators found evidence of micro scratching on other tickets at the store and observed Faragallah on surveillance video “micro scratching tickets, checking them on the terminal and placing tickets back into the display case to sell to customers.”
The ABC Action News I-Team has reported for the past three years how lottery retailer won big prizes dozens of times despite tiny odds.
Some had their privileges suspended, but the lottery won’t say if micro scratching was involved.