Sad but True Winners Stories

Lottery winner must pay
Lottery winner arrested for theft of over $60K
Lotto winner in machete horror
Lottery winner gets prison term for bankruptcy lies
Lottery winner sues state
British lottery winner lands in prison

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Originally Posted: Dec 8, 2005
Revised: March 15, 2006

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Lottery winner must pay
Theft will cost $84,000 of jackpot

By Valerie Rowell | Columbia County Bureau
Saturday, February 25, 2006

Wanda Rickerson won more than $500,000 in the Georgia Lottery in 2003.

On Friday, $84,000 went to Columbia County when a judge ordered Mrs. Rickerson to pay the money after she pleaded no contest to theft and insurance fraud charges.

Mrs. Rickerson won $540,804 in the March 7, 2003, Fantasy Five drawing, according to Tandi Reddick, a media specialist for the Georgia Lottery.

In February 2004, Mrs. Rickerson, a former sheriff's office administrative clerk, was arrested after $56,000 was found to be missing from an inmate trust account she oversaw at the Columbia County Detention Center.

"In 2003, the Rickersons won the lottery, which was several hundred thousand dollars," Bill Sussman, Mrs. Rickerson's attorney, said at the sentencing hearing. "... That affords them the opportunity to pay the money back."

Mrs. Rickerson, of Lincolnton, was indicted by a Columbia County grand jury and arrested again in December 2004 with violating the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, theft by taking and two counts of insurance fraud.

Mrs. Rickerson pleaded no contest to one count of insurance fraud and theft by taking. On Friday, Superior Court Judge Carl Brown sentenced her to 10 years on probation and to repay the $56,000 and to pay $14,000 to the sheriff's office workers compensation carrier and a $14,000 fine.

District Attorney Danny Craig claimed Mrs. Rickerson was attempting to hide the thefts by overcharging jail inmates for sundries such as snacks and soap. Money from the sales and more that came from inmates or was mailed or delivered by their families was deposited in the inmate trust account.

"She was stealing from inmates and stealing from their families," Mr. Craig said.

When auditors discovered the discrepancy and asked to speak with Mrs. Rickerson, Mr. Craig said, her co-workers found her lying in a stairwell the next day, claiming to have amnesia back to the day she began working for the sheriff's office in 1995.

She received workers compensation benefits and supplemental income from an insurance company, which did not seek repayment.

Mr. Sussman said the stress of having the theft discovered triggered a conversion disorder, which led to the amnesia.

Mrs. Rickerson never admitted to any of the actions, but Mr. Sussman said she is taking responsibility.

Reach Valerie Rowell at 868-1222, ext. 110, or

From the Saturday, February 25, 2006 printed edition of the Augusta Chronicle


Lottery winner arrested for theft of over $60K

By Spencer Wix - TIMES staff writer

Tammy R. Smith, 30, of 5959 Union Camp Road, was arrested and charged with one count of theft over $60,000 and nine counts of forgery over $1,000 by Red Boiling Springs Police Chief Terry Tuck. It is believed that Smith stole over $71,000 from the Quick and Easy, 101 Lafayette Road, in Red Boiling Springs, during a five to six month period.

Smith was picked up by authorities Tuesday, February 7, but was released on a $5000 bond the same day. Smith is also known for winning $50,000 in the Tennessee lottery last year.

“We do know that the lottery winning of $50,000 was legal and we found no foul play concerning the winnings,” said Chief Tuck.

Smith did however, allegedly play the lottery many times and whether she used the stolen money to purchase lottery tickets is unknown to authorities.

Michael Rankin, the owner of the store, contacted the police department April 8, 2005. He said that he had a large amount of money missing from his store.

This was not the first time that Rankin had spoken with ...

Chief Tuck concerning the missing money; however this was the first time an official report was made.

Records from the store were requested by Chief Tuck, including activity sheets from clerks and bank deposit information.

At least nine bank deposits did not match the amount that was recorded at the store, said Chief Tuck. Authorities also found that on several occasions no deposit was made at all.

Smith was called into the police station in January of this year and admitted to forging the nine deposit slips, as was reported by Chief Tuck.

The case was presented to the Macon County Grand Jury Monday, February 6, where a true bill was returned.

Smith is scheduled to appear before Judge J.O. Bond in criminal court Thursday, February 16.


Lotto winner in machete horror
Don Frame

A LOTTERY winner who scooped millions of pounds was subjected to a terror ordeal at the hands of machete-wielding raiders.

The 27-year-old was at home with his wife and three children, of whom - the youngest is aged just one, when the four masked thugs forced their way inside.

The family were herded into the kitchen of the house in the Palatine Road area of Didsbury and threatened with the weapons.

Two raiders then kept guard while the other two ransacked the home, stealing a large quantity of jewellery and personal items.

The father of three, who insists on remaining anonymous, is now offering a reward of £10,000 for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gang in the Valentine's Day raid.

Horrific
He said today: "It was a horrific incident and terrifying ordeal for my family. I have put up the reward to help the police get information and obtain a conviction." Det Con Darren Gill, from West Didsbury CID, said: "This was a terrifying incident for all the family.

"Fortunately none of them was injured, though they were all left extremely shaken.

"I would ask anyone with further information about the incident to contact West Didsbury CID on 0 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

Police say one of the four men was white, in his mid-20s, and was wearing a black hooded top, black trousers and trainers.

A second, believed to be black, was also wearing a black hooded top, black trousers and black trainers.

The other two men are only described as wearing dark clothing. All four were wearing ski masks.

© Copyright 2006 Manchester Evening News.


Lottery winner gets prison term for bankruptcy lies
THE COURIER
Published Tuesday, February 14, 2006


SPRINGFIELD - A former Lincoln woman was sentenced to 22 months in jail Friday for lying to federal bankruptcy court in 2000 regarding two years worth of payments for the $1 million jackpot she won in 1984.

U.S. District Judge Jeanne Scott gave Karen Diane Cohen, 53, now of Edmonds, Wash., until April 4 before she has to report for jail. On her release, she faces three years of mandatory supervision and must pay a $100 special assessment.

She may continue to work for a casino until she reports to serve her sentence.

A jury convicted Cohen of making false statements in a bankruptcy proceeding after one hour of deliberation following a four-day trial in October.

Evidence submitted during her trial showed that in, June 1982, Cohen won $1 million playing the Illinois State Lottery while living in Lincoln. The winnings were paid in 20 annual installments of $50,000.

When Cohen and her husband, Steve Shanle, divorced in 1984, the settlement included a court order that Cohen pay Shanle $9,000 from each annual lottery payment.

When she filed for bankruptcy in 2000, Cohen sought to discharge her obligation to pay her ex-husband his remaining portion of the lottery winnings, which were payments in 2000 and 2001.

The jury found that in December 2000, in a hearing before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Larry Lessen, Cohen lied when she said she had not received the checks for her share of the lottery winnings in 1997 and 1998.

Based on her statements, Lessen discharged Cohen's debt to her ex-husband.

In handing down sentence, Scott allowed Cohen to remain free on $10,000 recognizance bond.

Cohen told the court she would appeal her sentence.

Under sentencing guidelines, Scott could have sentenced Cohen to up to five years in prison and fined her up to $250,000 Friday.


Lottery winner sues state
By Chris Lewis,
February 14, 2006

A woman who won a lottery scratch-off ticket worth over $1 million has sued the state for preventing her from assigning some of her winnings to a financial company in return for a lump sum payout.

Like other instant lottery winners, Ethel Newberry of Palmrya wasn’t given the option to get the bulk of her winnings in cash up front. Instead, she gets annual payments of about $52,000 a year for a minimum of 20 years.

Newberry is asking the Davidson County Chancery Court to allow her to transfer half her payments, or 10 years worth, to Prosperity Partners Inc. of Lake Park, Fla. That would give her about $500,000 in cash to buy a house “equipped to accommodate the unfortunate disability of her son and fit her home for his long-term use,” the suit states.

Newberry’s attorneys contend she complied with state law by obtaining approval from Montgomery County Chancery Court. But the state Education Lottery Corp. refused to comply after the state Attorney General’s office’s advised it that state law prohibits the voluntary assignment of lottery prizes.

The suit seeks a court interpretation of an issue that is spelled out in some state lotteries, but is not clear-cut in Tennessee’s two-year-old gaming law.

Prosperity Partners’ Chief Operating Officer Tom Balletta said his company – one of several in the discount cash-flow industry - buys annuity payments from lottery winners all over the United States. This is the first time Prosperity has been in a position to challenge Tennessee’s policy.

“Currently there is specific legislation in about 34 states that allow that transfer [of winnings], and that transfer requires a court order,” he said.

“The law in Tennessee does not allow for voluntary transfers, except with an appropriate judicial order,” he added. “We’ve got the appropriate judicial order. So far, the lottery commission has refused to abide by it.”

Newberry’s attorney, David Silvus, and Kym Gerlock, vice president of communications for the lottery, declined to comment about the case.

The suit states that Newberry won the lottery’s “Win for Life Instant Game Prize,” in July of last year.

Though Gerlock would not comment on the specific case, she said the top prize for “Win for Life” is $1,000 a week for life, a minimum of $1 million.

Two people have won that top prize in Tennessee, she said. The procedure calls for winners to get paid through yearly checks of $52,000, minus federal taxes, for as long as they live. The money can be passed onto their estate if they die.

The suit states that Newberry was informed by the lottery that she was entitled to $1.04 million to be paid in annual installments of $52,000 for 20 years. She proposes to transfer to Prosperity her annual checks from July 5, 2006 to July 2015.

Since the state lottery began in January 2004, officials have introduced more than 80 games, including five “online” games in which participants must wait until a state drawing before finding out whether they have the winning numbers.

Of those, only the Powerball, the multi-state game, allows a choice between a lump sum and installments, Gerlock said. On the other hand, some of the smaller cash games only have a one-time payment with no options for installments.

Balletta says almost all states with a lottery allow the winner a choice on lotto drawings. Typically, scratch-off winnings are only paid out in annuities, he said.

Companies like his cater to people with long-term cash flow, such as lottery and insurance payments, that are paid by recognizable, solid payers like a state or insurance company. If people need it, the company will provide the cash and basically trade places, accepting the annual payments as an investment.

Prosperity acts as a middleman, selling the annuities to insurance companies, which are happy to have a safe income stream that can earn predictable interest over the long-term, Balletta said.


British lottery winner lands in prison

NORWICH, England, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- A British man who won about $17 million in a lottery three years ago has been sentenced to nine months in prison after going on a rampage in a disco.

Michael Carroll, 22, was sentenced Friday at Norwich Crown Court on his 43rd conviction since 1997, the Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

Prosecutors said Carroll and three other men went to a town hall in 2004 where a Christian disco had been organized, after got a call from two teenage girls saying they had been attacked. Police said they found Carroll waving a baseball bat around the disco.

The lottery winner said he had only about $3 million left of his winnings.

"I regret ever winning the lottery. The money hasn't changed me but it changed everyone around me," he said.

"I had advice but I didn't want to take it. I've spent $2 million on drugs and given $7 million to friends and family."



Texas Lottery Denies Cheating Lotto Texas Winners
But excerpts from Commission Meetings refutes the TLC claims
of innocence. The complete story including a winners complaint letter
to the DA. (Special note to those winners who called inquiring about
the way you were paid - your suspicions. I've included a spreadsheet
that includes the rate that was applicable at the time of your win
so you can now figure out if you received your full amount.
) Click here.

What is Problem Gambling? Click here.

Real Life Examples of Gambling Related Crime and Corruption. .

Sad but True Winners Stories (1), Click here

Read story about a Texas $31 million winner
who committed suicide (1999). Click here.

Sad but True Winners Stories (AOL), Click here.

One Winner - One Loser - What a story.
Everyone should read this one.
Three other stories
include an interview with a winner, a news story
regarding the Oct 13 Lotto Texas machine malfunction
and the huge sales decline for New York's in state
Lotto game since joining MM.
Click here.

Store Owners and Employees Admit Stealing
$100,000 Powerball Ticket ...
Don't let this happen
to you. Click here.

Canada Has A Gambling Problem. And so will Texas.
Governments hooked on gambling. Here's WHY we need to oppose
expanded gambling in Texas and why the TLC turns me OFF.
Click here
.

About that 2005 Texas Lottery Demographics Study.
See what the "real" truth was! A Texas Tech Study. Click here.

Thank You Dallas Morning News ... Their study of lottery sales
by districts confirms who really plays the games of Texas. Click here.

Just point and click ...

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