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Police: Store owner sold lottery tickets illegally, pocketed money

FORT MILL -- The owner of two Fort Mill lottery stores faces multiple charges after authorities say he sold illegal lottery tickets and pocketed the money.

Authorities Wednesday night issued arrest warrants against Jayson Carl Parker, 31, of Fort Mill in connection with illegal scratch-off tickets sold at Lotto World and Lottery Super Store, both stores in the Carowinds area at Fort Mill Township.

Parker had unofficial tickets made and then sold them at his stores, said Marvin Brown, commander of York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit.

Parker faces two counts of operating a gaming house, two counts of setting up lotteries and two counts of selling illegal lottery tickets. He has not been arrested on these charges, but is expected to turn himself in, Brown said.

Efforts Thursday to reach Parker were unsuccessful.

Authorities could not say how long the illegal sales were happening. However, Parker's charges came after a man told police he lost $30,000 on lottery tickets, prompting an investigation.

"He was selling out of both of his stores," Brown said. "Tickets sold for $5 a piece."

Customers also could purchase legitimate state lottery tickets.

Though no customers have been charged in the case, "They clearly knew these weren't state lottery tickets and on the up and up," Brown said. "State lottery tickets are up and in front of you in a plastic case.

"The illegal tickets were under the drawers with the money," Brown said. "Customers had to ask for those tickets specifically. The clerk asked how many tickets they wanted."

Clerks retrieved the requested number of lottery tickets that offered prizes ranging from $5 to $5,000 from the cash drawer, authorities said.

"People scratch them off and throw them on the ground," Brown said of the illegal tickets. "I saw (about) 50 of them. They were all over the place."

For winning tickets, the clerk would put the players' tickets back in the drawer and retrieve cash prizes from the same drawer, he said.

After a near two-week probe that included undercover lottery purchases, authorities on Oct. 24 raided Lottery Super Center and Lotto World.

"There were about 20 people lined up, and they were all cashing in illegal tickets," Brown said of Lottery Super Center.

Authorities seized 4,254 new lottery tickets, dubbed Daily Prophecy tickets, and 859 used Daily Prophecy tickets. More than $9,800 in cash was seized from Lottery Super Center along U.S. 21, according to a report from York County Sheriff's Office.

Meanwhile, at Lotto World, located along S.C. 51, authorities seized 1,547 Prophecy tickets and more than $6,380 in cash, a second report from the sheriff's office states.

Parker was not at either store during the raids, Brown said. However, three female clerks manned Lottery Super Center while a 41-year-old Fort Mill clerk was at Lotto World, he said.

"Charges have not been filed against the clerks at this time," Brown said.

In a single day, one store raked in $6,000 in illegal lottery tickets sales while the other store pulled in $10,000, Brown said.

Authorities were not surprised by the scheme.

"That area has been known for several years for illegal gambling," Brown said. "We've had poker machines and Internet machines. It used to be a mini Las Vegas."

Since the raid, both stores have been shut down, Brown said.

If convicted, Parker could face up to two years in prison and up to $16,000 in fines, Brown said.

-- The (Rock Hill) Herald