Former Kingman store employee sentenced for lottery theft<BR>

A former employee of a Kingman convenience store, arrested in February for stealing and cashing lottery tickets, was sentenced Thursday in Mohave County Superior Court to 45 days in county jail.

George Tory Stradling, 24, originally pleaded guilty in May to one count of felony theft.

Under Stradling's plea agreement, Superior Court Judge Steven Conn could have sentenced him to as much as five months in jail.

With a new job, Stradling is also be eligible for work release from jail, defense attorney Eric Engan said.

Conn also set Oct.

23 for a hearing to determine how much restitution Stradling has to pay back to the store, Engan said.

Stradling changed his plea to not guilty in April on felony charges of fraudulent schemes and theft.

He was released on his own recognizance.

The fraudulent schemes charges could have netted Stradling between three and 12 1/2 years in prison.

The charge of felony theft could have tacked on an additional two years maximum.

He was arrested Jan.

31 by Kingman police and investigators from the Arizona Lottery Security Division.

The thefts came to the Arizona Lottery's attention when one of its sales representatives noticed inconsistencies in ticket redemptions and reported them to the Lottery Security Division, records show.

Further investigation revealed that six employees had allegedly been stealing instant tickets, mostly $1 and $2 tickets, and cashing the winners.

The thefts allegedly had been taking place for about eight months with a loss accumulating to more than $10,000 from the North Kingman store, records show.

Three other suspects were also arrested and pleaded not guilty.

They were released on their own recognizance and their status is unknown at this time.

Two juvenile suspects were arrested and released to their parents.