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California man who stole roommate's $10 million lottery ticket received 8-month jail sentence

Nov 20, 2019, 3:49 pm

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California Lottery

A 36-year-old Vacaville, California, man who police say stole his roommate's lottery ticket worth $10 million in late 2018 struck a plea deal earlier this year and was sentenced to eight months in Solano County Jail.

Court and Solano County Jail records on Monday indicated that Adul Saosongyang had been relegated to a "local commitment" under the state Penal Code, but, in a separate document, also indicated he pleaded no contest to attempted grand theft.

Judge Carlos R. Gutierrez had scheduled a jury trial for 9 a.m. June 26, but clerks with the Solano County Sheriff's Office said he had been released on June 25 but gave no other information about his whereabouts.

During previous proceedings, Deputy Public Defender Sara Johnson successfully argued a reduction in Saosongyang's bail, from $65,000 to $25,000. She noted the main allegation, grand theft, was a property crime, not a violent one.

With a Thai interpreter at his side, Saosongyang pleaded not guilty to the main charge and that of receiving stolen property.

According to Vacaville police, on Dec. 20, the victim bought a $30 Scratchers lottery ticket at the Lucky supermarket on Peabody Road in Vacaville, hoping to win some money for the holidays. It was a winner, indeed, and he thought the prize was worth $10,000.

After telling his roommates, including Saosongyang, about his good fortune, he stashed the ticket in a jacket pocket, then fell asleep.

The next morning the victim visited the California Lottery's district office in Sacramento only to find his ticket not only wasn't a winner but two of the numbers also had been altered, police said.

Suspecting his roommates of foul play while he slept, the victim notified Vacaville police.

The next day, Saosongyang attempted to claim the prize money at the same Sacramento lottery office, where he was told it was worth $10 million, not $10,000.

Following their custom and practice, lottery officials immediately began a routine investigation to verify all winnings over $600.

At the Vacaville Lucky store, a lottery investigator was told the ticket might be stolen. At that point, the investigator and a Vacaville police detective began working together on an apparent theft investigation, police said. 

Shortly afterward, lottery and police officials determined the roommate had purchased a similar Scratchers ticket, altered it, then swapped it with the multimillion-dollar winner.

The lottery investigator then invited Saosongyang to the Sacramento office to collect on the ticket. Once there, Vacaville detectives arrested him on a warrant for grand theft. He was booked into Sacramento County Jail, then transferred to Solano County Jail in Fairfield.

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