Port Richey woman accused of running personal lottery

PORT RICHEY – A mother who solicited her neighbors for cash with the promise of a $500 prize was arrested Saturday and charged with leading an illegal lottery, authorities said.

Tina Marie Bell, 47, had her daughter fill mailboxes with letters asking residents to send $5 entrance fees for a chance at the winnings, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report. All money was to be sent to Bell's home on Rainbow Lane.

A neighbor asked the Sheriff's Office if the lottery was a scam, and a deputy responded to Bell's home Saturday to find about 1,000 more of the letters ready for distribution. State law forbids personal lotteries.

Bell was released Saturday evening on $5,000 bail.

Times staff writer Natalie Watson contributed to this report.

Port Richey woman accused of running personal lottery 11/01/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 6:35pm]

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