Three arrested in lottery fraud, theft case

Three arrested in lottery fraud, theft case
(Source: KAIT-TV)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Ark. (KAIT) - Two people from Stone County and a third person from Independence County face felony charges after authorities say they were involved in a lottery fraud and theft case.

Bryan James Beke and Ashley Annicole Blanton, both of Mountain View, and Holly Gayle Gillmore of Charlotte were arrested Aug. 3 after an investigation.

According to court records, the trio were involved in the scheme at Murphy’s USA in Mountain View.

“Holly Gillmore, along with Bryan James Beke scratched off and scanned barcodes of lottery tickets and used approximately five thousand dollars worth of lottery tickets and two thousand dollars worth of Lotto tickets and kept the proceeds without paying for all the tickets,” the criminal information noted. “Ashley Blanton was present for the theft and fraud and received proceeds from the theft from Bryan Beke.”

According to a probable cause affidavit, Mountain View police also interviewed Beke, Blanton and Gillmore about the situation. Gillmore was interviewed July 29 at Murphy USA.

“(District Manager John) Timbs stated that around $4,000 in Lottery tickets and $1,300 cash was missing from Murphy’s and handed (Officer Russell) Gilbert a statement that he said was filled out by Gillmore. Gilbert asked Gillmore about the statement and about the lottery tickets and cash. Gillmore stated that Bryan (Beke), who also works at Murphy’s, told her that he needed money to pay something off then told her to scratch off some tickets, so she did,” the affidavit noted. “Gillmore stated that she thought Beke was paying for them and didn’t know the amount of the tickets was that much.”

Gillmore was also asked about the $1,300 and told authorities that it came out of the lottery drawer, police said in the affidavit.

Beke was also asked about the lottery tickets.

“Beke replied that Gillmore was scanning the tickets and not paying for them. (Lt. Jeremy) Beaudin asked what he meant by scanning them, Beke replied ‘playing them',” the affidavit noted.

Beke also told police that he did not know anything about the $1,300.

“Gilbert explained to Beke that Gillmore had said he had the money and the lottery tickets. Beke said again that he didn’t know anything about the money but Gillmore had his girlfriend (Blanton) hold the tickets for her. Gilbert asked if the tickets were in the house and Beke said they were in the trunk of Blanton’s car,” the affidavit noted.

Blanton told authorities that she did not know about the lottery theft and that Gillmore asked her to pop her trunk to put the tickets inside, police said.

Beke and Gillmore were arrested on suspicion of theft of property and lottery fraud, while Blanton was arrested on suspicion of accomplice to theft of property and accomplice to lottery fraud.

A $15,000 bond was set for Beke and Gillmore, while a $10,000 bond was set for Blanton.

All three are set to be arraigned Aug. 19 in circuit court.

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