MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 48-year-old woman is accused of stealing more than $10,000 in pull tabs and prizes from a north metro VFW two years ago, court documents filed in Anoka County show.
Molly Forness, of Blaine, admitted she wrote a letter in 2012 to the Fridley VFW gambling manager, saying she’d stolen pull tabs and given winning ones to someone to cash in, a criminal complaint says.
That gambling manager told officials that there was a large number of pull tab tickets missing and that the ticket boxes, by which the bar weighs its pull tab count, had been filled with sand, so as to offset the stolen tabs.
Earlier this month, investigators met with Forness. She admitted to opening un-paid pull tabs and giving the winning ones to someone to cash in. She did not know the total amount of pull tabs she’d taken or had cashed in.
Forness told authorities she’d stolen the tickets while cleaning the VFW. She said the reason she’d taken the pull tabs is because she was so upset that she’d been blamed for other things at the VFW.
The criminal complaint did not make it clear if she worked at the VFW or if she was part of the cleaning crew.
An audit of the games showed that $1,868 in prize money was fraudulently redeemed between June 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2012. The value of the tickets stolen during that time was listed as $8,769. Taken together, the cash value of the prizes and stolen tickets totals $10,637, the criminal complaint says.
Forness told authorities she bought plants with the prize money.
She is charged with one count of theft. If convicted, she could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.