Couple arrested after attempting to cash $100k prize from stolen lotto ticket

Couple arrested after attempting to cash $100k prize from stolen lotto ticket

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Port Allen couple is behind bars after authorities say they attempted to cash in a stolen lottery ticket worth $100,000.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office has in custody 37-year-old Tammy Tarver and 49-year-old Derrick Payne both on the charge of skimming of lottery proceeds after Tarver allegedly stole lottery tickets from her job and Payne later tried to cash a winning ticket in.

On Jan. 19, officers with Baton Rouge Police Department were dispatched to the office of the Louisiana Lottery Corp. in reference to a theft complaint. The Louisiana Lottery Corp was initially contacted by Emerald Palace Fuel Station and Casino, authorities say.

According to the gas station, Tarver was an employee there and had not paid for lottery tickets that were later reported stolen.

Authorities say Payne arrived at the Louisiana Lottery Office, located in the 500 block of Laurel St. in West Baton Rouge, attempting to cash a stolen lottery ticket that had a $100,000 value.

Payne was later arrested at the lottery office. He told police that Tarver, his girlfriend, gave him the lottery scratch-off to cash at the office because she did not have a valid Louisiana ID. Payne also told police he did not know the ticket was stolen but found it strange that Tarver would not get her own ID and cash the winnings herself.

Lottery officials told police Tarver was using lottery tickets around 2 a.m. on Jan. 16 and her cash drawer was $50 short. Authorities say she was able to pay back $20, leaving a balance of $30 unpaid.

Lottery officials also say the winning ticket was purchased last and never paid for, therefore it was a stolen ticket and was attempting to be cashed.

The couple was arrested and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. The West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office will investigate the actual theft of the lottery ticket in their parish, officials say.

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