“Razz Queen”, the 39-year old woman who claimed to be donating proceeds to charity plead guilty to illegal gambling after investigators found out she was personally profiting from the Facebook raffles.
The woman, Kathryn Jean Deblack, also known as Razz Queen is from Hibbing. She pleaded guilty to running an illegal lottery that reportedly brought in more than $117,000 in less than 10 months. She was placed on one year of unsupervised probation. $3,000 fine was also ordered for her to pay. This is the statutory maximum for pleading guilty to a gross misdemeanor gambling charge in State District Court last week.
According to court documents, state agents warned Razz Queen to stop the raffles she conducted through Facebook. Despite this, she defied these warnings. Instead, she devised a disguise scheme that attracted approximately 200 paying participants. Allegedly, she falsely claimed that the proceeds would be donated to local charities. However, investigators found minimal evidence to support this claim during a financial review and interviews.
The Minnesota Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division initiated an investigation in April 2021. During this time, Deblack operates a Facebook page named “Iron Range Razzles.” Through this page, she advertised the opportunity to purchase numbered spots for a chance to win brand new items at a significantly reduced price. Random number generator was used in picking winners.
Deblack instructed participants to make payments through Vemo and use an emoji as a means of evading account lock-down due to gambling violations.
Deblack contacted AGED after they closed the investigation, treating it as an educational matter. She stated that she was donating profits to a local organization that sends care packages to deployed military members. During this time, she was informed that only registered nonprofits can conduct raffles in Minnesota.
Despite this, court documents revealed that the agency received another referral in November 2021. Deblack was offering 100 raffle entries at $120 apiece for a chance to win her personal ATV or a $500 cash prize.
According to an investigator, Deblack allegedly claimed to have given $1000 to a veterans’ charity. However, she later admitted to using the remainder to pay off the ATV loan.