Steilacoom store owner sentenced for attempted lottery fraud

A 62-year-old Steilacoom store owner has pleaded guilty to attempted lottery fraud after she tried to claim a winning ticket that wasn’t hers.

Veva D. Maddox was sentenced Monday in Thurston County Superior Court to 30 days of electronic home monitoring.

Maddox was arrested in December as part of an investigation by the Washington State Lottery. Lottery officials had conducted an undercover “compliance check” after receiving a complaint that a clerk at Steilacoom Marine Services, 1310 Commercial St., had been switching high-dollar winning tickets for less valuable tickets.

A lottery official entered the store with a $1,000 winning ticket that was manufactured specifically for the investigation, according to court documents. The official asked the store clerk — later identified as Maddox — if she could check the ticket to see if it was a winner.

The clerk told him the ticket was worth $3. Later that day, she went to the Washington State Lottery headquarters in Olympia to claim the $1,000 prize and was subsequently arrested.

Maddox told investigators that she had mixed up the ticket with another ticket at the counter. She also said she had been selling and checking lottery tickets for 30 years, according to court documents.

At Monday’s court hearing, Maddox apologized for her actions. In issuing the sentence, Judge Anne Hirsch noted that Maddox had no prior criminal history.

“I’m fairly confident we’re not going to be seeing you again,” Hirsch told Maddox at Monday’s hearing.

Maddox is listed as secretary of the Steilacoom Chamber of Commerce on the chamber’s website. On the Washington State Lottery’s website, Maddox is listed as winning a $10,000 prize on Aug. 25, 2014.