On June 27, 2014, a store clerk in Fullerton was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years of probation after pleading guilty to stealing a winning lottery ticket from an undercover California State Lottery investigator.
Muhamad Irfan Khan, 48, a clerk at FM Food Store, pleaded guilty to one felony count of burglary as part of a plea deal. He was originally charged with attempted grand theft, perjury, fraud and presenting a false claim to a public board or officer.
On October 22, 2013, a Lottery investigator entered the store and presented Khan with three traceable decoy scratcher tickets. Among those decoy tickets was one $1,000 winning ticket. When Khan checked the tickets in the Lottery computer system, he told the investigator all three tickets were losing tickets. Khan kept the winning decoy ticket and mailed it to the lottery for prize money.
"This should serve as a warning to unscrupulous clerks who think, 'what the customer doesn't know, won't hurt them,'" said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) which represents California Lottery investigators. "California State Lottery investigators ensure the integrity and security of the Lottery and protect unsuspecting players from being ripped off of their winning prizes."
A similar case took place on April 9, 2014 when an undercover Lottery investigator handed a Van Nuys mini-mart clerk a decoy winning lottery ticket for $20,000. The clerk, allegedly told the investigator the ticket was not a winner. The very next day, the clerk and her fiance allegedly tried to redeem the ticket, claiming it was theirs. If convicted, the clerk, Kamrun Nahar Nipa, 24 and her finance, Miggel Hewage Wijesena, 28, face a maximum possible sentence of three years and eight months in jail