A supermarket owner from Miami Florida has been caught out by a Florida Lottery investigation into dishonest retailers.
La Rampa Supermarket owner, Silvia C. Calleja, was arrested on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, and charged with grand theft.
Calleja was arrested after an undercover lottery agent visited the store and presented a winning ticket. Calleja checked the ticket and told the agent it was not a winner. Her husband Jose Calleja was also taken into custody when he tried to redeem the ticket later that day.
Calleja is not the only dishonest retailer who has been caught out. The agent's visit to her store was part of an ongoing undercover operation intended to reveal which retailers can be trusted along with those who cannot.
Agents have been taking particular interest in stores that produce regular winners since an investigation by the Palm Beach Post, in March this year, revealed many of the winners were not playing by the rules.
As a result of another investigation, earlier this year, one retailer was banned from selling tickets from his seven stores after it was revealed his mother had claimed 47 prizes of $1,000 or more in the space of just 3 years.
The La Rampa Supermarket's most frequent winner is Calleja's husband, who has claimed 11 lottery prizes, with a combined value of nearly $36,000, since 2008.