Man gets five years probation for taking lottery tickets


Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

A man who pleaded guilty to stealing lottery tickets from the Ohio Lottery Commission was sentenced in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to five years’ probation and also ordered to pay more than $39,000 in restitution.

David Dragelevich, 40, of Poland, also was ordered by Judge John Durkin on Monday to complete two separate court-ordered drug-treatment programs as part of his probation. He was sentenced on a charge of theft in office, a third-degree felony.

Any violation of his probation could result in a three-year prison sentence being imposed, Judge Durkin said.

Dragelevich was accused of stealing more than $100,000 in lottery tickets while he worked as a sales representative in the commission’s North Canton office from September 2012 to September 2013.

The Ohio Inspector General issued a report in May that concluded Dragelevich stole the lottery tickets by manipulating computer systems at Akron and Youngstown-area retail locations.

During an Ohio State Highway Patrol interview, Dragelevich admitted cashing stolen lottery tickets, investigators said.

Dragelevich’s attorney, Charles E. Dunlap, asked for a sentence of probation, saying his client has no prior criminal record and has been battling a substance-abuse problem since he was 15. That problem led him to take the tickets.

In May, Judge Durkin ordered Dragelevich to serve three days in jail because he was not taking part in a court-ordered substance-abuse treatment program.

Judge Durkin said he was against any kind of jail or prison time because if Dragelevich was in jail, he could not repay the money he owes the lottery commission. But the judge said Dragelevich could wind up back in jail if he does not complete or attend the two substance-abuse programs.

The judge also said he will review other documents to determine if more restitution is needed. If it is, he will have another hearing.

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