Former Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Deputy Director Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud And Money Laundering
Little Rock - Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Christopher A. Henry, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation Nashville Field Office announced today that, in a hearing held before U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright, Remmele Mazyck, 34, of Bryant, Arkansas, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. The charges relate to a scheme to defraud the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery.
As deputy director of security for the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, Mazyck had access to packages of promotional lottery tickets, which the lottery routinely gave away at large-scale events such as festivals, fairs, and retailer rallies. Beginning in or about December 2009 through October 2012, Mazyck took lottery tickets from the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery vendor’s warehouse for his personal use. He would assign the tickets to retailers no longer selling tickets, and then use his position as deputy director of security to log into the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery’s software program to change the tickets from “Available-Virgin” to “Promotional.” This change activated the tickets and allowed Mazyck to cash any winning tickets. To hide the scheme, Mazyck would then log into the software and change the status of all the losing tickets to “Voided by Security”. In total, Mazyck received approximately $477,893.00 from the scheme.
“In attempting to beat the odds for winning in the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, Mazyck stole funds that could have gone to another future student,” stated Thyer. “Odds are, when you choose to use illegal means to increase your winnings, you will lose.”
“Public officials, whether elected or appointed, hold positions of trust in the eyes of the public. That trust is broken when these officials commit crimes. No public official gets a free pass,” stated Christopher A. Henry, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation Nashville Field Office. “The IRS enforces the nation's tax laws, but also takes particular interest in cases where someone, for their own personal benefit, has taken what belonged to others. With both law enforcement and financial investigation expertise, our agents are uniquely qualified to assist state and federal law enforcement agencies with these types of cases by following the money. We are pleased with the successful resolution of this investigation due to the cooperative efforts of our law enforcement partners."
Mazyck faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.00 when he is sentenced. The sentencing date will be set by the Court at a later date.
This investigation was conducted by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Arkansas State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jana Harris and Cameron McCree .
An indictment contains only allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.