Employee charged with lottery ticket fraud

By DeeAnna Haney | Feb 18, 2013
William Joseph Cook

CLYDE — A Canton man faces felony fraud charges after allegedly stealing lottery money while working at two convenience stores in Clyde and Canton.

Clyde police began investigating 55-year-old Joseph Cook, of Henson Cove Road, after the store manager at the Single Stop in Clyde began noticing a discrepancy in money at the end of the graveyard shift.

The manager showed police store surveillance video depicting Cook scanning lottery tickets, scratching them off and keeping prize money from winning tickets, said Cpt. Mike Lindsay with the Clyde Police Department.

Through investigation, Lindsay discovered Cook had stolen lottery ticket money on several occasions beginning in October.

Fraud investigators with the North Carolina Lottery Commission began an investigation as well, and discovered Cook had stolen about $70 over a four-day period using Greetings of Gold, Bejewelled Money Multiplier and Holiday Millions scratch off tickets.

He was also caught committing the same crime while working at the Single Stop II convenience store on Radio Hill in Canton.

Following investigation, Cook was charged with four counts felony larceny by employee in late January.

In a separate arrest, Cook was pulled over while driving and caught with several prescription pills. He also faces several drug charges including two counts felony trafficking opium or heroin, felony maintaining a vehicle or dwelling place for a controlled substance and simple possession of schedule IV controlled substance.

He is due in district court April 1.

Lindsay said further charges are possible against Cook from the N.C. Education Lottery.