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Lottery Winner Caught Shoplifting Two Months After Hitting Jackpot

A lottery winner from Massachusetts has been found guilty of shoplifting.

Just two months after winning $1 million off a scratch ticket, Yokatia Rodriguez was arrested for allegedly attempting to steal $80 worth of lipstick from a Kohl's store.

Patch

The 40-year-old woman was sentenced to a $2,000 fine and to serve 30 days in County Jail if she was not on good behavior for the next year, half the fine and the jail sentence will be dismissed if she doesn't get arrested again based on the order from Judge Robert Stephen.

Loss prevention officer Michael Frawley was monitoring the video surveillance when he saw her attempting to leave the store without paying for some of the items in her shopping cart. Shopping with her 14-year-old son at the time, she said it was just a misunderstanding.

On the stand during her court hearing, she said she "absolutely did not try to steal."

She claimed that she merely just forgot to pay for the items.

"It was four days before Christmas," she said, "It was hectic. I was there shopping for my kids."

A receipt for that day indicated that Rodriguez paid for $519.66 worth of merchandise that day, but that did not include the five lipsticks.

Frawley said that he had an eye on the cosmetics department because it is the highest loss prevention area of the store.

Fortune

"It's expensive and there aren't coupons for it," he said. "We lost about $15,000 in that one department alone last year."

That's when her 14-year-old son got caught in the middle of the situation.

According to Frawley, as he continued to watch Rodriguez and her teenage son approach the cash register, the boy appeared to become stressed.

"He seemed extremely nervous all of a sudden," according to the Kohl's employee. "He was pacing around and putting his hands up around his neck."

When she was confronted with the loss prevention officer, she admits to telling her son to put things on the counter to pay.

"(The boy) reacted by shaking his head back and forth," Frawley said.

That's when the conversation became heated.

"He Googled my name and saw that I had just won $1 million," Rodriguez said.

She claimed that he was in her face, and was "yelling at me like I was no one."

"He was falsely accusing me," she said. "He was irrational, screaming, yelling. The only thing he didn't do is hit me."

That's when Rodriguez offered to pay for the forgotten items.

She admits to having escalated the argument.

"I became who I am not. I had been living a dream, where I had money in the bank."

The judge gave no consideration to her lottery winnings during sentencing.

"You put a 14-year-old in an awful position. Not only did it send the wrong (parenting) message," he said. "But then at the first opportunity to explain this, you blamed him. It was a very poor choice on your part. Jail is reasonable for that."

Patch

She reported bought her winning scratch ticket at the Qwik Mart and took home an after-tax prize of $650,000 in October.

“With her winnings, she plans on buying a house,” the lottery noted in a press statement

Source: Patch / Eagle-Tribune