Former employee accused of $16K lottery ticket theft

A San Juan Island man accused of embezzling nearly $17,000 in scratch-off lottery tickets while employed at a Friday Harbor convenience store is slated to stand trial for felony theft in mid-November.

On Aug. 30, Miles Spencer Crossen, 57, pleaded not guilty in San Juan County Superior Court to one count of first-degree felony theft. He was released  under court orders pending a Nov. 18 trial date.

According to court documents, prosecutors claim that Crossen, while on duty, marked off hundreds of scratch-off tickets over a six-month stretch, without first having activated them with a store scanner, beginning in July, 2012. He reportedly discarded the losers in the trash and redeemed the winners at various island stores.

The store owner reportedly witnessed a series of scratch-off thefts after reviewing footage from a surveillance camera, which has since been taped-over by more recent footage.

When confronted by the store owner, Crossen reportedly admitted to the theft and, according to court records, acknowledged it in a signed and notarized affidavit.

A Class B felony, first-degree theft carries maximum penalties of 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both; however, the standard range of sentencing set by the state is 2-6 months in jail.

— Scott Rasmussen


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