SG woman charged in lottery ticket theft

By on May 14, 2009

Amount taken worth more than $100,000
by Susan O’Neill

Martha M. Ybarra, 52, of Terry Drive, Sugar Grove, was taken into custody and charged with theft of more than $100,000 on May 7. Police said that Ybarra, a Sugar Grove BP Amoco employee, is charged with printing out lottery tickets for herself over a 14-month period from Dec. 2007 to Jan. 2009.

Ybarra was booked at the Sugar Grove police station and transported to Kane County Adult Corrections, where her bail was set at $70,000. Ybarra paid the $7,000 and was released. She has a court date of Friday, May 15.

The owner first suspected something was amiss during the business’s 2007 tax process when the dollar amount in commission sales did not match the number the accountant reported.

“Initially, they thought it was their mistake,” Sugar Grove investigator John Sizer said. “When the lottery did their own audit in September or October, they realized there was a discrepancy every month.”

According to Sizer, the investigation is ongoing and may lead to additional arrests or charges.

“So much money has been taken, there may have been other people involved,” he said.

When a lottery ticket is purchased, an electronic transfer of the money is automatically sent to the state, so the state receives its money,” said Sizer.

The food store and gas station is out the amount of the tickets, as well as commission it would have earned on the tickets.

Sizer said police do not yet know whether any of the tickets were winners.

Ybarra could receive a maximum of up to 15 years in prison for the charge, a class one felony.