Crime Watch 8

8 busted in counterfeit pull tab operation

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Indiana State Excise Police have eight people behind bars and are still looking for another after an investigation into counterfeit pull tabs. Indiana State Police describe a a pull tab ticket (aka break open ticket) as a “gambling ticket that is sold as a means to play a pull tab game.”Photos | Eight charged, one still wanted in excise bust 

The following people were arrested over the course of two days in the operation that spanned 10 Indiana counties:

  • George W. Henderson, 56, from Fort Wayne
  • Paul D. Perona, 48, from Fort Wayne,
  • Adam J. Hubbard, 39, from Fort Wayne,
  • Abby L. Woebbeking, 22, already incarcerated at Hendricks County Jail
  • Jason J. Green, 38, already incarcerated at the Allen County Jail
  • Burke W. Baughman Jr., 22, already incarcerated at the Allen County Jail
  • Sheena M. Bowe, 24, of Fort Wayne,arrested while exiting Allen County Family Relations Division Court after appearing for an unrelated matter.
  • Richard E. Milhem Jr., 40, from Fort Wayne

Police said one more suspect, Holly N. Brooks, 25, of Fort Wayne, is still wanted.

All nine suspects are accused of being involved in an operation in which they would redeem counterfeit pull tickets for prize money at bars throughout the state. The release from Indiana State Excise Police states that 42 bars paid out a total of $21,154. The bars were located in Allen, Steuben, Wells, Adams, Huntington, Howard, Tippecanoe, St. Joseph, Elkhart and Marion counties.

All the suspects face preliminary level 5 felony charges of corrupt business influence with underlying racketeering activity of theft, forgery, and fraud and level 6 felony charges of forgery.

“This success of this investigation is the result of due diligence of the investigating Excise officers as well as the collaboration with the prosecuting attorneys and local law enforcement agencies.  The Indiana State Excise Police is tasked with regulating Type II Gaming which includes pull tab games.  Their expertise in these games was used to make arrests in this case.  Additionally, the cooperation the officers received from the owners of the alcoholic beverage establishments was imperative in order to identify the suspects,” Superintendent Matt Strittmatter said.

One of the suspects is also accused of impersonating an officer in late 2014. Police believe Richard E. Milhem Jr. was the person who entered an Eagle’s Lodge in Goshen and tried to pass himself off as an Excise officer to a bartender, according to 24-Hour News 8’s sister station WANE-TV.