The management of the California Lottery was sharply criticized Tuesday by state officials, who released a scathing audit alleging that the agency shortchanged schools by millions of dollars over the last four years, and recommended that most of the money be repaid. Separately, the state controller has launched an investigation into a gift of 30,000 Scratchers tickets to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” first reported by the Los Angeles Times The audit released Tuesday said California schools have suffered as a result of problematic management and contracting at the lottery agency. “The Lottery has not followed state law, which requires it to increase its funding for education in proportion to its increases in net revenue,” State Auditor Elaine Howle wrote in a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature. Howle said the California Lottery failed to provide $36 million that should have gone to education in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2018.
A Bismarck man is accused of stealing nearly $50,000 from his employer in the last half of 2019 and gambling the money away, according to a police affidavit. Denver Tergesen, 35, made his initial court appearance Tuesday on a charge of felony theft. A manager at Lucky’s 13 Pub in Bismarck on Monday notified police that from June through December, 136 cash deposits totaling just more than $49,500 were missing from the restaurant’s account. Tergesen was in charge of those deposits and when confronted by management initially blamed the problem on a banking error, police say. Tergesen in a text message to the manager later admitted he lost the money gambling and also stated he went to prison in 2009 after robbing a bank to pay gambling debts, the affidavit says. North Dakota court records do not show that he has a robbery conviction. Tergesen is being held in the Burleigh Morton Detention Center in lieu of $2,500 bail. No attorney is listed for him in court records.
In a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Georgia, multiple search warrants were taken out and executed on Wednesday, February 26 related to multiple suspects violating the federal Animal Welfare Act and drug trafficking. Many of the animals were found malnourished with scarring. Some were found severely injured, and will require surgery and other medical intervention. Two dogs had emergency surgery, and one female pitbull was discovered chained up with broken legs, malnourished, and overbred. The 156 rescued animals are now in the care of the U.S. Marshals Service. For their safety, the location of the dogs’ care and housing will not be made public.
Pennsylvania State Police seized 71 “illegal” gambling machines from Jan. 22 through Feb. 25, including a video gambling device seized from one Dauphin County location, Uncle Jim’s Tavern in Williamstown, State Police announced this morning. The seizures include gambling devices marketed as “skill machines,” State Police said in the release. “Illegal, unregulated gambling is a serious — and growing — problem facing the commonwealth, with video gambling devices spreading beyond licensed liquor establishments into convenience stores, malls and restaurants,” said Capt. Jeffrey Rineer, acting director of the State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement. “So far in 2020, gambling machine seizures have been reported from every BLCE office, in counties from Erie to Philadelphia.”
State police on Saturday arrested a Providence man accused of leaving a 3-year-old boy in a car in the parking lot of Twin River Casino. Mitchell Cuevas, 38, was charged with child neglect and obstruction of justice, according to a state police news release. Police say Cuevas left his son in the car for around half an hour while he placed bets in the casino sports book. Police said Cuevas provided “false information” about the boy’s identify and the identity of the boy’s mother. Cuevas was arraigned at the state police barracks in Scituate and released on bail.
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