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Santa Ana Liquor Store Clerk Charged With Defrauding The Lottery

SANTA ANA (AP) — Orange County authorities say a suspiciously lucky liquor store clerk has been charged with defrauding the lottery.

A district attorney's statement says 34-year-old Francis Karam, who until recently worked as a clerk at Craig Liquor in Santa Ana, would uncover a small part of Scratcher lottery tickets. The DA says he would redeem the tickets if they were winners and sell them if they were losers.

Under the scam known as "pinning," prosecutors say Karam redeemed $50,000 in cash from the illegal tickets from January 2013 until earlier this month, and cheated customers out of $100,000.

He's been charged with felonies including grand theft, computer access fraud and forgery.

Karam was arrested Tuesday. He has not yet been arraigned and it wasn't clear whether he's hired an attorney.

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(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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