Alex and Rhoda Toth were down to their last $24 in May 1990 when they won $13 million in the Florida Lotto.
The Toths said then that they hoped the money would buy them a simple, quiet life.
They ended up with anything but. Their wealth led to family squabbles and bankruptcy court.
On Tuesday, it led to a federal grand jury indictment.
The Hudson couple are charged with filing fraudulent income tax returns in 2000, 2001 and 2002. If convicted, both face up to 24 years in federal prison.
The Internal Revenue Service also is seeking $554,667 in back taxes.
"This was willful," IRS spokesman Norm Meadows said. "It wasn't just an error. This was criminal."
Meadows said Alex Toth, 58, and his wife, 49, were arrested by U.S. marshals after the grand jury indictment. He wouldn't say where or when they were booked or if they were released. The couple could not be reached for comment.
At first, it seemed winning the Lotto might save the couple. In May 1990, they gassed up their old car at a convenience store. They bought a Lotto ticket — 5-7-30-38-40-43 — and left the store with $24.76 between them to last the rest of the week.
They won, splitting a $40 million jackpot with a Tampa family that had two tickets. The Toths opted to receive their $13 million share in annual payments of $666,666 until 2010. They were excited, but worried.
"It is a lot of money, and it creates a lot of pressure on you," Alex Toth told the St. Petersburg Times in May 1990. "We'll try to work it out."
Six years later, Rhoda Toth appeared before a judge seeking an injunction against her 19-year-old son and his girlfriend. In court records, Toth said she had been threatened and suggested the pair may have killed the family dog and burned her husband's 1986 Chevrolet Corvette.
She got a domestic violence injunction.
They also ended up in a legal tussle with another minor local celebrity, Bertie Higgins, who wrote the hit song Key Largo. In February 1996, Higgins crashed his Chrysler New Yorker into the back of an Isuzu Impulse driven by Rhoda Toth's daughter from a prior marriage.
The crash generated headlines that brought more attention to the family. In fall 1996, they appeared on Oprah.
In fall 1996, they appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
The money "has torn us apart," Rhoda Toth the Times in 1997. "It caused us to lose a lot of friends, some family members.
"Sometimes I wish we could give it back."
The Toths started a bar on New York Avenue near US 19 after their lotto money ran out.
The Toths say they gave away too much, to too many people.
Rhoda Toth said, "With family, the more you five the more they wanted. If you bought a house they wanted a bigger house. If you bought them a small car, they wanted a bigger car."
The Toths hope to keep their bar business going while they fight the Internal Revenue Service in federal court.
If convicted the Toths could face 24 years in prison.
Federal court records show the Rhoda Toth filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in 2001 and 2002. Alex Toth filed for similar protection in 2001. Chapter 13 allows qualified debtors to set up a plan to repay their creditors and keep their property.
Pasco County property records show the Toths own a half-acre lot and mobile home on Brenda Street in the northern Pasco County community of Hudson.
According to an indictment released this week, the IRS first noted problems with Alex Toth's 2000 tax return. He claimed his total income as $1,498,526.00. The indictment said "he then and there well knew and believed said statements about his total income were false."
Mrs. Toth's 2000 statement claimed $1,612,413 in total income, also "false according to the indictment." IRS agents noted additional problems in 2001 and 2002 returns.
The grand jury also charged the Toths filed false refund claims. Alex Toth asked for $112,000 refunds in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Rhoda Toth filed similar requests for $72,000.
Meadows, the IRS spokesman, declined to say how investigators unraveled the Toth's taxes.