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Audubon woman sentenced after pleading guilty to lottery fraud

An Audubon woman pled guilty Friday in Becker County District Court to one count of state lottery fraud, after playing a role in the theft of over $3,300 in lottery tickets from an area gas station between Jan. 1 and March 19 of this year.

Whitney Marie Lende, 23, of 273½ 4th St., Audubon, reached a plea agreement that will require her to serve 30 days in jail and up to five years of supervised probation, plus pay $3,295 in restitution.

A second charge of felony theft was dismissed per the terms of the plea agreement; if she successfully completes probation, the lottery fraud charge will be dismissed as well.

On April 12, local law enforcement received a complaint from Orton’s gas station in Audubon that a group of three employees had been systematically stealing lottery tickets from the station, and their records showed that their lottery ticket inventory was off by $3,295. Lende was one of the three employees accused in the thefts.