October 26, 2012 —
A Cuddebackville woman has been charged with Felony Forgery in a scratch off lottery scam in Monticello. Nicole Schultz, 29, who worked at the Smoker’s Choice store on Route 42 next to McDonald’s, has been arrested by Sheriff’s Deputies for allegedly scamming customers.
Between September 24 and October 16, 2012, Deputies allege that Schultz very carefully scratched off the tiny control number located in the bottom corner of instant winning lottery cards and then scanned them in the lottery terminal to see if they were winners.
If they were winners, Schultz cashed them in. If they were losers, Schultz sold them to unsuspecting customers. The scam began to unravel on October 17, 2012 when a customer brought a ticket back to the store and spoke to the manager. The sharp eyed customer noticed that even though the ticket appeared intact and had not been scratched off, the material covering the control number in the lower corner was missing.
The customer believed the Instant lottery ticket was compromised. Deputies have reviewed the store’s video surveillance and believe as many as 60 instant lottery tickets make be involved. Schultz was arrested and charged with Forgery in the 1st degree and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the 1st degree both Felonies. She was arraigned before Thompson Town Justice Martin Miller and sent to the Sullivan County Jail in lieu of $250 bail pending a future court appearance.