Former lottery security officer pleads guilty to stealing tickets

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - The Arkansas Lottery Commission's former deputy director of security pleaded guilty to theft of lottery tickets.

Remmele Mazyck, while employed as deputy director of security, used his position to steal lottery tickets and cash them in. He reportedly cashed 22,710 tickets between November 2009 and October 2012, which paid out $478,073.

Arkansas Lottery Commission Director Bishop Woosley called himself "embarrassed and infuriated" by Mazyck's actions, which he first found out about in October 2012. Mazyck was put on administrative leave that day and was fired around 3 weeks later.

Woosley said that Mazyck implemented many of the commission's internal security measures, so he was able to design them in a way that he could manipulate them. He reportedly went into the warehouse that stored promotional tickets not sold at retailers but given away at events like Riverfest and the State Fair then cash them at stores as far away as Jonesboro.

The commission is insured for thefts like this and will get their money back, assuming their claim is approved. More importantly, if they get the money then no students counting on lottery-funded scholarships will lose out.

"That's one of your concerns is that people will think that the lottery is not fair, the games are flawed or there's some type of breach in the security of the games and therefore they will not buy tickets," said Woosley. "One of the reasons we approached this the way that we have is to try and be as transparent and open as possible."

Below is a quick rundown of Mazyck's theft from the lottery commission:

  • Mazyck was hired by Ernie Passailaigue in July 2009.
  • Before working at the Arkansas Lottery Commission (ALC), he was security manager at the South Carolina Education Lottery.
  • ALC held its first promotional event on October 31, 2009. Mazyck cashed his first stolen ticket on November 1, 2009.
  • Lottery Director Bishop Woosley first found out about the theft on October 25, 2012.
  • Mazyck was placed on administrative leave October 26, 2012.
  • Mazyck was fired on November 14, 2012.
  • Yearly breakdown of Mazyck's theft:
    • 2009: $726
    • 2010: $24,852
    • 2011: $189,135
    • 2012: $263,350

KATV's Jeannette Reyes spoke with Mazyck's attorney. Tune in tonight at 10:00 for his reaction to today's announcement.