Share This
EmailFacebookTwitter

A 30-year-old Factoryville man who authorities claim stole more than $20,000 in lottery tickets and winnings from a Tunkhannock business was sentenced in Wyoming County Court to four years probation so he could pay some of the money back.

John James Smith, who was a clerk at Wyoming Beverage on East Tioga Street in 2019 and pleaded guilty in October to theft by unlawful taking only, however, agreed Wednesday to pay back $11,133.73.

Before the sentence was issued by Judge Russell Shurtleff, Wyoming Beverage owner Larissa Allspaugh took the witness stand and protested that was only half of the money stolen, and he was using the money paid by insurance to go toward the whole amount.

“That’s not right,” she said. “It’s important that he never be allowed to take from others the way he did us.”

Court records reveal that after police helped Allspaugh update a surveillance system in the store, one night she left the shop early and followed a livestream from a surveillance camera.

Investigators determined that Smith had been scratching bar codes off scratch-off lottery tickets, checking them with a scanner to see which ones were winning tickets, then taking the winning money out of the cash drawer while throwing the other tickets in the trash.

Smith’s attorney Jesse Hallinan said that his client had no prior record and things just spiraled out of control.

“He understands that what he did was wrong,” Hallinan said. “He was way over his head.”

Hallinan added that through his future in-laws, Smith has been able to get a good job, and the only way he was going to be able to pay the money back, was if he had income.

“Any period of imprisonment would result in termination of this job,” Hallinan said.

After the judge handed down the probationary sentence, including restitution of $11,132.72, and a $500 fine, Smith handed the district attorney a check for $1,030 to go toward a recalculated restitution amount.

Other sentences handed down by Judge Shurtleff Wednesday:

*Tyler Craig Austin, 28, of Mountaintop, was sentenced to 60 days-12 months in county jail and a $500 fine for harassment on July 2, 2019.

*Cynthia Lynn Clark, 56, of Factoryville, was sentenced to 12 months probation and a $500 fine for disorderly conduct on Mar. 10, 2018.

*Janet Lucy Jane Crane, 40, of Meshoppen, was sentenced to 12 months probation,a $500 fine, and $42.40 in restitution for retail theft on May 4, 2019.

*Thomas Aaron Crawford, 37, of Tunkhannock, was sentenced to 1-12 months in county jail and a $500 fine for unlawful restraint on Aug. 8, 2019; to 1-11 and a half months for criminal attempt to commit simple assualt on Aug. 9, 2019; with sentences to be served consecutively; and to 1-12 months in county jail and a $500 fine for simple assault, with sentence concurrent to others. The judge also had an extradition hearing for Crawford so he could face charges in Texas of trafficking persons under 18 and sexual assault of a child. He is to leave for Texas no later than Jan. 29.

*Robert J. Drost, 38, of Tunkhannock, was sentenced to 6 months intermediate punishment commencing with 30 days house arrest and a $1,000 fine for DUI, second offense, on June 21, 2019.

*Skyler James French, 28, of Tunkhannock, was sentenced to 12 months probation, a $500 fine, and $955 restitution for possession of a controlled substance on Oct. 4, 2018; and to 12 months probation and a $500 fine for possession of drug paraphermalia on Oct. 4, 2018, with sentences to be served concurrently.

*Stephen Douglas Hinds, 54, of Factoryville, was sentenced to 5 years intermediate punishment commencing with 90 days house arrest and a $1,500 fine for DUI, second offense,on May 10, 2019.

*Robert O. Hoyt III, 55, of Tunkhannock, was sentenced to 12 months probation,and a $500 fine for theft by deception on Aug. 22, 2019.

*Kevin Isbel Jr., 36, of Hunlock Creek, was sentenced to 24 days-8 months in county jail and a $500 fine for criminal trespass on Dec. 23, 2018.

*Kailyn Gabriel Maria, 27, of Forty Fort,was sentenced to 12 months probation and a $500 fine for possession of drug paraphernalia on Apr. 24, 2019.

*Michael William Mudge, 51, of Nicholson, was sentenced to 6-12 months in county jail and a $500 fine; for simple assault on Mar. 16, 2019; was sentenced to a $300 fine for harassment on March 16, 2019; and to a $300 fine for harassment on March 16, 2019.

*Kyle Edward Munley, 25, of Factoryville, was sentenced to 72 hours-6 months in county jail and a $1,000 fine for DUI on Oct. 13, 2018.

*Kenneth James Newell Jr., 56, of Tunkhannock, was sentenced to 64 days-11 and a half months in county jail and a $500 fine for resisting arrest on Sept. 11, 2019.

*Jeffrey Allen Owen, 39, of Nicholson, was sentenced to 27-120 months in state prison and a $1,000 fine for possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine on Oct. 25, 2018; to 12-24 months in state prison and a $500 fine for recklessly endangering another person on Feb. 20, 2019; to 30-120 months in state prison and a $1,000 fine for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver on Feb. 7, 2019; to 9-24 months in state prison and a $500 fine for resisting arrest on Apr. 8, 2019; and to 12-24 months in state prison and a $500 fine for criminal attempt to commit simple assault on April 8, 2019, with sentences to be served consecutively.

*Raymond Michael Roeber Jr., 43, of Pittston, was sentenced to a $500 fine for small amount of marijuana on May 10, 2019.

*Ramona Elizabeth Streby, 56, of Towanda, was sentenced to 2 months-180 days in county jail and a $1,000 fine for DUI on Apr. 15, 2019;

*Arthur Strickland Jr., 53, of Hunlock Creek,was sentenced to 18-60 months in state prison and a $1,000 fine for DUI of a controlled substance with a minor in vehicle on Apr. 2, 2018.

*Bradley Dean Taylor, 27, of Dalton, was sentenced to 5 years intermediate punishment commencing with 90 days house arrest and a $1,500 fine for DUI, second offense, on May 1,2019.

*John David Witter, 48, of Mehoopany, was sentenced to 5 years intermediate punishment commencing with 90 days house arrest and a $1,500 fine for DUI, second offense, on May 4, 2019.

*Stephen William Zona, 26, of Scranton was sentenced to 3-6 months in county jail and a $1,000 fine for DUI of a controlled substance on Apr. 1, 2019