Varsity Bar and Grill suspect

Varsity Bar & Grill posted this photo, taken on the bar’s surveillance cameras, of the suspect who cashed in an altered pull tab at the bar for $500. The suspect, later identified as Charles Percy of Eden, later admitted to police that he altered the pull tab. Facebook posts have placed Percy and another male suspect at two other area bars doing the same thing.

Sun Prairie police jailed a 37-year-old Eden man in connection with an alleged pull tab scam perpetrated in several area bars, including some in Sun Prairie.

The Silver Eagle in Monona, Pit Stop Pub in Sun Prairie and Varsity Bar & Grill in Sun Prairie were among the bars listed on a recent Varsity Bar & Grill Facebook post as having been involved in the alleged defrauding through use of counterfeit pull tabs by Charles D. Percy. The same post indicated Percy has been arrested in Lake Mills.

According to the criminal complaint, Percy cashed in pull tabs that had been falsified through the use of stickers placed over losing rows on the tickets.

If convicted and sentenced to the maximum penalties associated with the forgery and bail jumping counts, Percy will receive 13 years and three months imprisonment and be fined $40,000.

According to the criminal complaint, the owner of Varsity Bar & Grill notified Sun Prairie police on March 14 that a male on March 11 entered the business, purchased some of the pull tabs, then cashed one in for $500.

The bar participates in a state-sanctioned gambling game wherein for $1, subjects can purchase a pull tab from a machine. The pull tab has several pull off doors that reveal if you have won a cash prize. If you have a winning pull tab, you can cash it in at the bar for the winning amount.

The bar owner said he was going through winning tickets and discovered two of the tickets had been altered. The first ticket had a winning value of $500 and the second had a value of $25. The suspect took losing tickets and placed stickers over existing pull tabs making them appear to be winners. On each tab with the winning dollar amount, the sticker was peeling back, revealing the original pull tab. The bar owner advised that each allotment of tickets has only one $500 winner. He said he paid out the legitimate $500 winner on March 10, 2019.

The bar owner said he checked video and identified the two suspects with the two fraudulent winning tickets. He said they were in the bar on March 11, 2019, between 2 and 3:30 p.m. Percy presented the $500 winning ticket and it’s unknown who presented the $25 ticket.

The bar owner said he posted pictures he captured of the two suspects from the security video to Facebook and asked for assistance in identifying them. The bar owner said he received several responses identifying Suspect #1 as Charles Percy, a former Waterloo resident.

When a Sun Prairie police officer questioned Percy, he admitted to altering the ticket to make it appear it was a winner. When asked why, Percy replied, “This was a stupid decision. It’s just a stupid game for me. I just wanted to see if I could get away with it. I guess I can’t believe, I can’t believe it worked.”

While going through Percy’s property, the officer discovered a small black ledger/journal style notebook that contained locations along with pull tab style tickets. He also discovered a small black pouch that contained a large amount of pull-tab-style stickers.

The three counts of bail jumping stem from separate pending criminal charges, according to the complaint: A Jan. 22 charge of possession of methamphetamine in Fond du Lac County; a pending Nov. 21 charge of second offense possession of marijuana in Dodge County; and a felon in possession of a firearm charge from August, 2018 in Jefferson County.

State law provides that as a condition of release in all felony cases, a person released on bail shall not commit any crime.

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