LITTLE ROCK — A former state lottery official was sentenced Thursday to three years and one month in prison for stealing and cashing lottery tickets valued at nearly $500,000.
Remmele Mazyck, who served as deputy security director for the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery from July 2009 to November 2012, was sentenced at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Little Rock. He had pleaded guilty to federal charges of wire fraud and money laundering in July.
Mazyck admitted to cashing 22,171 scratch-off lottery tickets between November 2009 and October 2012. In addition to his prison sentence, he was ordered to pay $482,672 restitution.
U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright said Mazyck’s sentence will be followed by two years of supervised release.
Mazyck was one of several former South Carolina lottery employees whom Ernie Passailaigue brought with him when he left the position of director of South Carolina’s lottery to become Arkansas’ first lottery director. The lottery’s current director, Bishop Woosley, fired Mazyck in November 2012 after learning of the thefts.
Woosley said Thursday he had hoped for the maximum sentence of 47 months under state sentencing guidelines but was pleased with the sentence imposed by the court.
“The amount of money taken was substantial, it was taken over a long period of time and Mazyck was in a position of trust,” Woosley said in a statement released by the lottery program. “This sentence sends a strong message to everyone in public agencies that a violation of the public’s trust and resources is unacceptable.”
Woosley said the lottery is fully insured for the amount of the theft through the Arkansas Fidelity Bond Trust Fund administered by the Arkansas Governmental Bonding Board and a supplemental insurance policy which the lottery purchased around the time of its launch in 2009.
“We have submitted a claim under our supplemental policy insurance company and hope to find out soon if it will be paid,” he said. “Assuming our claim is paid under both policies, the ALC will sustain no monetary loss from this theft. I am glad that this chapter in the lottery’s history is one step closer to being closed.”