TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Agents arrested a supermarket store owner on charges of operating a Florida Lottery scam.

Agents with the Florida Lottery’s Division of Security launched an undercover investigation when it was suspected Silvia Calleja, owner of La Rampa Supermarket, was allegedly stealing tickets from players.

An undercover agent presented Calleja with a lottery ticket, but she reportedly told the agent the ticket was not a winner. Authorities said Calleja’s husband later attempted to cash in the ticket.

Calleja and her husband were both arrested and charged with grand theft.

“The Florida Lottery will not tolerate fraudulent activity by our players or retailers. The integrity of the Florida Lottery is our top priority,” said Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O’Connell in a statement. “The action taken today is part of our on-going retailer integrity efforts to combat illegal activity.”

The investigation was part of the Florida Lottery’s Retailer Integrity Program.

Florida Lottery officials said players should protect themselves and their tickets by signing the back of their tickets. They should also check their own tickets to see if it’s a winner or watch the monitor while it is being scanned.

The lottery introduced a new “winning sound” to its terminal systems earlier this month. The terminal will play a distinct sound indicating that the ticket is a winner.


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