A man who worked with his family to illegally claim a $2 million lottery prize has lost his appeal of his multiple theft-related convictions, with the Indiana Court of Appeals finding sufficient evidence to support the convictions.
In Jackie Harold Parsley, II v. State of Indiana, 18A-CR-72, Jackie Parsley was the manager of Parsley’s Package Liquors, a family-owned business in Plainfield that also sold lottery tickets. Store employees were not allowed to buy or use lottery tickets sold at the liquor store, and Hoosier Lottery suspended PPL’s license to sell the tickets from May to September 2014 because of paperwork issues.
Then in October 2014, Ashlee Campbell Parsley, Jackie’s now-sister-in-law, presented a $2 million winning scratch-off ticket to the Hoosier Lottery, telling the lottery she had purchased the ticket from PPL on Oct. 1. Ashlee used her lump sum payment of more than $1.24 million to buy a house, car and trailer for herself and her then-fiance, Joseph, as well as a truck for Jackie.
However, when Jackie’s uncle, Jimmy Parsley, learned where Ashlee had purchased the ticket, he reported her to the lottery, which led to a police investigation. At issue in the instant case are the charges and eventual convictions against Jackie, including false passing of a lottery ticket and theft, both as Level 5 felonies, and five counts of Level 6 felony money laundering.
On appeal, Jackie challenged the sufficiency of the evidence against him, claiming the state “failed to prove he had the mental culpability to commit the offense of which he was convicted.” But the appellate court disagreed, with Senior Judge John Sharpnack noting in a Friday opinion, Jackie Harold Parsley, II v. State of Indiana, 18A-CR-72, that the Hoosier Lottery tracked the tickets it allowed retailers to sell through an online system.
In May 2014, the online system indicated PPL had received ticket pack 57013 from the lottery. However, after the liquor store’s license was suspended and a Hoosier Lottery representative came to retrieve all unsold tickets, pack 57013 was not returned. That pack contained tickets for the same game Ashlee claimed to have won.
Jackie, however, told the lottery representative he had returned all unsold tickets to her. Then in September 2014, someone unsuccessfully tried to validate Ticket 7 from pack 57013 at a store a half-block away from PPL. The liquor store’s lottery license was renewed a few days later – despite the fact that the store was set to be sold in less than a month – and only the tickets in pack 57013 were activated between the time the license was reinstated and the time Ashlee claimed her prize.
What’s more, Sharpnack said surveillance video showed Jackie standing at the computer at the time the pack was activated. The footage then showed Jackie leaving PPL with a scratched-off ticket, and Ticket 7 – the same one that had been unsuccessfully validated earlier in the month – was validated at the same convenience store that was a half-block away.
Meanwhile, Ashlee validated tickets 5 and 6 at a different convenience store. A Hoosier Lottery expert later testified that there are “red flags” that might raise concerns about improperly obtained tickets, including one red flag that occurs when winning tickets from a pack are redeemed at locations other than where they were sold. Additionally, tickets that are not redeemed in roughly sequential order can also raise a red flag, the investigator said.
Considering these circumstances and the presence of the red flags, Sharpnack said a jury could conclude from the circumstantial evidence that Parsley had secretly kept pack 57013, scratched off the tickets to find winners, then sought to renew the store’s license so that he, Ashlee and Joseph could redeem the winning ticket. All of that, the senior judge said, was sufficient evidence of Jackie’s fraudulent intent.
The unanimous appellate panel ruled similarly on Jackie’s challenge of his theft and money laundering convictions.
“There is ample circumstantial evidence that Parsley chose to conceal pack 57013 rather than return it to the Lottery, and he worked with Ashlee and Joseph to claim the $2 million prize ticket because he knew he could not have done so himself,” Sharpnack wrote. “Without Parsley, Ashlee and Joseph would not have had access to the winning ticket.”