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Ex-store clerks seen on camera stealing lottery tickets

Hoosier Lottery looks into investigation
Posted at 12:22 AM, Nov 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-14 09:25:55-05

CONNERSVILLE, Ind. -- Former store clerk Reagan Santana Richardson is set to be sentenced Friday in Fayette County for her involvement in the theft of scratch-off lottery tickets at Miller’s Discount Tobacco store in Connersville located at 704 Eastern Avenue.

Call 6 Investigates has learned she has been offered a plea deal that will not include jail time but will require her to go on probation and make restitution.

Store Manager Jeff Herbert described what he saw on several the store’s surveillance cameras as “something that made me very, very sick!”

“You want honest people and you don't think they will do anything to jeopardize their family name,” added Herbert.

Richardson and her co-worker Melinda Carol Lanning ignored the cameras overhead, stealing lottery tickets from behind the counter, scanning them, and cashing in the winning cards and throwing out the duds. 

This went on for months. The women used a step stool to take tickets that were too hard to reach.
In one video clip from January 2, you can see and hear Lanning say “Hey we just hit $20. I can put that in. Will that make you feel better."

In another video clip from January 15, you hear Lanning say “$50 bucks. You want to cash it right now though?” and you hear Richardson respond “Yeah."    

In another clip, one of the women makes the remark “I hope they don’t watch the cameras.”   

Both women were fired in January after the store learned of the problem when their accountant reported $10,000 dollars missing from the lottery fund.

Every ticket the women took and scratched off costed the store between $5 to $30 depending on the game. 

In all, the two workers stole more than $21,000 in tickets between November 2016 and January of 2017 and the Hoosier Lottery paid out more than $6,000 dollars in winnings.

A special prosecutor from Union County was appointed to oversee this case.

Call 6 Investigates has also learned Lanning and Richardson could face a new round of legal problems.

The women were not only drawn to scratch-off tickets, but they also had an interest on the online game "Cash4Life."

The former clerks allegedly passed on a $2,500 winning ticket to a female friend who cashed it at the Indianapolis office of the Hoosier Lottery.

"I think the person who cashed the ticket should be arrested. Hoosier Lottery needs to go after lady who cashed the ticket and stole money from the Hoosier Lottery,” Herbert said.

In a statement, Hoosier Lottery officials said:

“The Hoosier Lottery's Security Department has been involved in this investigation in Connersville for some time and is fully cooperating and assisting the Special Prosecutor.  The Lottery intends to present the results of its investigation to the Marion County Prosecutor when the Special Prosecutor resolves the Fayette County case."

The name of the woman who claimed the $2500 lottery ticket will not be given until charges are filed. Call 6 reached out to the lawyers for Lanning and Richardson and did not get a response.

While Richardson is scheduled in court on Friday at 1:30 p.m., her former co-worker Lanning has a trial date scheduled for January 29. Call 6 Investigates has learned that a plea agreement was also offered to Lanning that would not involve jail time, but would require restitution and probation as well. 

Both plea agreements are subject to approval from the judge.

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