Former accountant charged with embezzling over $200K from lotter - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Former accountant charged with embezzling over $200K from lottery

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Anthony McNeil  (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center) Anthony McNeil (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A former accountant has been arrested in connection with missing funds at the South Carolina Education Lottery (SCEL), according to its executive director.

Anthony McNeil, whose employment was terminated on October 10, was arrested after a State Law Enforcement Division investigation into accounting discrepancies.

According to the South Carolina Education Lottery's executive director, SLED found McNeil embezzled more than $200,000 over the course of two years. "We will prosecute to the full extent of the law, and we will seek restitution," Paula Harper Bethea said.

According to an arrest warrant, McNeil was in charge of collecting payments owed to the SCEL. Investigators said McNeil, between April 17, 2010 and August 11, 2012, manually manipulated invoices in the SCEL computer system causing funds not to be collected from certain retailers, while other retailers were overcharged.

The money collected from the overcharged retailers, according to the warrant, was used to cover the expenses of the retailers not charged. McNeil then contacted those retailers to tell them a system error caused their payments not to be collected, the warrant states.

McNeil ultimately instructed those retailers to deposit funds totaling $226,439.07 into an account that he controlled, according to investigators.

"All SCEL games, players and prizes were at all times protected," said Bethea. "Once we identified what occurred, we immediately began an internal investigation with our Internal Auditor. Within 8 hours this matter was turned over to SLED for a full investigation.  We will prosecute to the full extent of the law, and we will seek restitution."

If convicted, McNeil faces up to 10 years in prison.

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