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Woman arrested after trading fake winning lotto ticket for car at San Antonio dealership

Woman claimed ticket was worth $5,000

SAN ANTONIO – A woman was arrested after she paid for a used car at a San Antonio dealership with a fake lottery ticket, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Margarita Escobar, 30, talked the owner of a car lot in the 11900 block of SE Loop 410 into the trade and drove away in a 2009 Chevy Malibu, the affidavit states. She claimed the winning Texas scratch off lottery ticket was worth $5,000.

Fernando Tovar, owner of Southpoint Auto in the South Side, said he does all customer transactions as cash or cashiers checks because it’s easier, there’s less paperwork. So, when Escobar offered him a “winning” scratch-off ticket, he didn’t hesitate too much.

“Money is money. I mean, I got kids to feed,” Tovar said. "They ended up telling me that they couldn’t cash the ticket because they owed money to the government for child support. That was their story. So I figured...I’ll just cash it tomorrow? No big deal.”

He even downloaded the lottery app himself and checked the ticket, which confirmed it was a winning $5,000 ticket.

However, when Tovar called the Texas Lottery Commission to cash it in, they told him he would have to wait because something was ‘off’ about the ticket.

Months later, he was informed the ticket was rigged. The ticket was later confiscated by the commission.

Tovar reported the vehicle stolen to police and about a month ago, he got the Chevy Malibu back.

According to the affidavit, the ticket was stolen from a Circle K in San Antonio and altered. A Texas Lottery Commission investigator said Escobar has been under investigation by the commission since 2017 for similar offenses, but they only recently learned her identity, according to the affidavit.

Escobar was arrested and charged with false transfer of claims/offer the sale of right to claim prize.


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