Florida Couple Tried to Pass off Inept Forgery as $1M Lottery Ticket

Posted on: April 19, 2024, 11:29h. 

Last updated on: April 19, 2024, 12:48h.

Authorities in Florida have arrested a couple for allegedly attempting to submit a “winning” $l million lottery ticket that was actually two losing tickets crudely stuck together, WPDE-TV reports.

Kira Enders, Dakota Jones, Florida Lottery, fraud
Dakota Jones, left, Kira Enders, right, and the Florida Lottery scratch-off Enders claimed was a winner despite being torn horizontally and laminated back together. (Image: WEAR-TV)

Kira Lee Enders, 36, was detained Wednesday and charged with grand theft of more than $100K, presenting an altered state lottery ticket, and altering a lottery ticket with intent to defraud. Her partner, Dakota Jones, 32, has been arrested on the same three charges.

‘Crudely Laminated’

Enders arrived at the Florida Lottery Office in Pensacola on March 1 to present the ticket, having been driven there by Jones, according to the arrest report.

Lottery officials quickly realized that something was wrong. It was clear that the ticket had been pieced together from two scratch-off tickets and then “crudely laminated” to conceal the fraudulent alterations.

Each of those tickets were ripped horizontally and then carefully pieced together to become one fraudulently altered ticket using the top half of one of the actual tickets and the bottom half of the other,” police noted. “That fraudulently altered ticket now visually shows that it is a one-million-dollar prize winner.”

So inept was the forgery that some of the words on the back of the ticket failed to match up. Nevertheless, Enders continued to insist that it was a genuine winner and signed acknowledgments on the winner claim form related to the criminal consequences of submitting a fraudulent ticket.

On March 7, lottery officials called Enders and told her she needed to come back to the office to complete more “large-claim paperwork.” She agreed, and showed up on March 11, once again driven by Jones.

Conflicting Stories

Both Enders and Jones were detained on arrival and questioned by police. Jones insisted that they were “honest people and they aren’t into fraud,” according to the police report. Inconsistencies in their accounts of how they came to acquire the ticket led police to file charges against both of them.

Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons told local ABC affiliate WPDE-TV that he wasn’t impressed by the level of sophistication involved in the alleged crime.

I don’t think this is going to be a made-for-TV movie type of situation. It was clear to lottery officials that she’d taken two tickets,” Simmons said. “Especially when you think you’ve won a million dollars, they’re going to take a close look at that.

“You’re not a lottery winner, you’re a criminal,” he added.