Wednesday, March 06, 2008
Collinsville man charged with stealing $10,000 lottery ticket from office pool
BY JENNIFER K. HASAMEAR
The employee of a Collinsville business pocketed a winning $10,000 ticket from an office lottery pool and is now charged with felony theft, police said today.
Custis B. Devore, 28, of Collinsville was charged today with taking possession of a winning Mega Millions lottery ticket purchased last month by a group of employees at Bethel-Eckert Enterprises Inc. and cashing in the ticket, Collinsville Police Detective Sgt. Rich Wittenauer said.
"He's basically stealing from everyone who would've won the money," Wittenauer said.
While three employees came forward to police, Wittenauer said there were several other employees involved in the lottery pool.
Employees at the business periodically participated in an office lottery pool, police said. The numbers for the tickets were recorded on a computerized spreadsheet.
After the lottery drawing, Devore altered the spreadsheet in an attempt to lead fellow employees to believe there were no winning tickets from the pool, Wittenauer said.
When questioned, Devore told police that he had taken the ticket and cashed it, but had not yet spent any of the money, police said.
Devore was in custody at the Collinsville Police Department this afternoon and was expected to be transported in the evening to the Madison County Jail. His bail was set at $100,000 by Circuit Judge Charles Romani Jr., meaning Devore would need to post $10,000 in cash for his release on bond.
Larry Eckert, president of the company, and other employees who are listed as victims in the case could not be reached for comment. The company is a grocery supplier for the military.
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