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Fla. woman faces eviction after lottery-winning husband disappears

After the Big WinAfter the Big Win: Fla. woman faces eviction after lottery-winning husband disappears
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Two years after discovering her husband hid the fact he won the Florida Lottery, Donna Campbell is being evicted

MIRAMAR, Fla. — Donna Campbell of Miramar wants to serve her husband with divorce papers. But she can't find the guy.

The two have been on tense terms since 2007 when the former Caribbean beauty queen made headlines after going public with their marital drama. Her husband, Arnim Ramdass, was a part of a pool of American Airlines mechanics in Miami who won a $19 million Florida Lotto jackpot.

He never mentioned it to her. She found out only after she grew suspicious and ran a Google search on him. So in 2008 Campbell, 49, sued Ramdass for a chunk of the change. The judge said no. Ramdass walked out on her and the bills they once shared.

And on Tuesday night, she will be evicted from their former home in the SilverLakes subdivision.

''I thought winning the Lotto was supposed to bring together a family, a husband and his wife,'' Campbell said Monday. ''But all I got was deception and lies.''

Campbell said she last saw her husband in July. He and a friend came to the house and started removing furniture.

Campbell, a runner-up in the 1979 Miss Trinidad & Tobago beauty pageant and a retired skin-care model, started renting out empty rooms in the house to cover her expenses.

Meanwhile, the mortgage was not being paid.

The house was auctioned off in July, but the owners let Campbell stay until now as she tried to untangle a complicated legal case that is still being fought in family court.

Campbell, who has no formal legal education, is representing herself. Her original lawyer withdrew from the case and the legal aid clinics she has visited say they do not accept ongoing cases. She wants to keep fighting.

''To give up on this case would be like if you witness a robbery and just walked away,'' Campbell said.

''You have to do something about it.''

Efforts to reach Ramdass on Monday were not successful. His family law attorney, Mitchell Haymes, did not respond to an e-mail or a telephone call Monday evening.

Ramdass and 16 other mechanics won the prize on June 20, 2007. They opted to take a lump-sum payment and divide the winnings.

Campbell's divorce petition states that her husband's net winnings were $449,511.95 after taxes.

In the summer of 2007, Campbell said she noticed her husband was acting strangely. He disconnected the phone lines and wanted the television turned off.

Knowing Ramdass liked to gamble, Campbell searched his name on Google. She discovered a press release announcing that he and his friends had won the Lotto jackpot.

She confronted him. He told her he bought the ticket for his daughter from a previous marriage, a story that she swears doesn't wash.

Since then, she said Monday, she has developed chronic lung disease and other ailments that she attributes to the stress of her ordeal.

Campbell thinks Ramdass is still in the area. But neither police nor a private investigator she has hired have located him.

The day before she was set to leave the house, boxes lay unfilled near the dining room. The patio table that she moved inside was still shrouded with legal documents, medical records and photos of her wedding day.

''This one, we took at the Hard Rock,'' she said, pointing to a picture of her and her husband in their wedding attire. ''We went gambling until 3 or 4 a.m. and we always said we'd share... If I won $40, I shared it with him.''

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Miami Herald

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33 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by jrosina.
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Kennesaw, GA
United States
Member #62138
June 18, 2008
1371 Posts
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Posted: December 16, 2009, 8:55 am - IP Logged

i guess he finally got the ticket he wanted to get away from her, the winning lottery ticket!!!!  and she got lung disease from the stress, give me a break...i wonder if she is a smoker?  he had every right to leave and not share the money, why did she need to tell the public about the relationship problems prior to the win..she screwed herself over..

    Avatar
    Monkey Butt, USA
    United States
    Member #54569
    August 23, 2007
    1124 Posts
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    Posted: December 16, 2009, 9:42 am - IP Logged

    My heart goes out to the wife. I really-really hope everything works out for her. I doubt she will get anything from the husband. I would not be surprised if he's already lost all of the money.

    Knowing Ramdass liked to gamble, Campbell searched his name on Google. She discovered a press release announcing that he and his friends had won the Lotto jackpot
    ``This one, we took at the Hard Rock,'' she said, pointing to a picture of her and her husband in their wedding attire. ``We went gambling until 3 or 4 a.m. and we always said we'd share . . . If I won $40, I shared it with him.''

    I hate to say this, but the best thing she can do right now is move on with her life. It is said the best revenge is good living. I would not be surprised to hear that hubby is found in a casino somewhere with his azz whooped and his money took.
    As we all know, karma has a way of levelling lifes playing field. I'd really like to see how this story ends.

    Donna Campbell of Miramar, FL, you are in my prayers and I sincerely hope you find health-peace-& happiness!!!!

      diamondpalace's avatar - Untitled 2.jpg
      Dallas, TX
      United States
      Member #60284
      April 12, 2008
      3856 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: December 16, 2009, 11:11 am - IP Logged

      Makes you wonder if the person you're with is true.

        x1kosmic's avatar - neptune vg2.gif

        United States
        Member #48046
        December 7, 2006
        1699 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: December 16, 2009, 11:52 am - IP Logged

        Hey Miss Donna  (Shouting Out)

         You can come crash on my couch if you want,  I'm not exactly rich,  and my Floor furnice went out about 4 years ago, so its a little chilly, until I turn on the electric heater.

            But at least you'd have a place to stay.   I mean really,... she's in the public eye, I don't think she'll end up in a homeless shelter or anything.

              Shame on Hubby for running out though.Clown

          mookyb75's avatar - animaniacs41
          nashville nc
          United States
          Member #81934
          November 2, 2009
          657 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: December 16, 2009, 12:04 pm - IP Logged

          Hey Miss Donna  (Shouting Out)

           You can come crash on my couch if you want,  I'm not exactly rich,  and my Floor furnice went out about 4 years ago, so its a little chilly, until I turn on the electric heater.

              But at least you'd have a place to stay.   I mean really,... she's in the public eye, I don't think she'll end up in a homeless shelter or anything.

                Shame on Hubby for running out though.Clown

          is this the definition of until death do us part i don't think this is  maybe that's the reason me and others are single. she need him now but don't worry what goes around comes around he will find himself in her shoes. she should be rewarded i rather be with a broke person than a person with money and they do right by me and i'm happy the money will come along with love involved... i have sympathy for her she is struggling and to be strong i know you men are going to dog me out and it's ok it's 2009 women are more independent and strong.....

           Rainbow 

          My mind on my $$$$
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           

            Raven62's avatar - binary
            New Jersey
            United States
            Member #17843
            June 28, 2005
            17937 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: December 16, 2009, 12:43 pm - IP Logged

            The Party is Over (So is the Marriage): Time to find a Job and Return to Work!

            A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

              cypher's avatar - shapes swish.jpg

              United States
              Member #80204
              September 18, 2009
              35 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: December 16, 2009, 2:17 pm - IP Logged

              The Party is Over (So is the Marriage): Time to find a Job and Return to Work!

              Big GrinYeah, time to go to work and get that scrub!

              I don't know much about various states marital law but it sure seems that she would be entitled to half of the winnings since they were married and the money was won during their marriage together  Wouldn't that become an asset of their marriage?? No Pity!

                Grovel's avatar - f800e6a39fbfea795d1dcbb09f2244
                Little Rock, AR
                United States
                Member #68365
                December 19, 2008
                232 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: December 16, 2009, 2:36 pm - IP Logged

                I doubt we are getting the whole story. I would bet they had problems in their marrige before he bought the winning ticket.

                  Avatar
                  NH
                  United States
                  Member #83352
                  December 5, 2009
                  186 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: December 16, 2009, 2:41 pm - IP Logged

                  Three sides to every story...Mine, yours and the truth...Seems like the judge probably got closer to the truth...Something tells me she was no where to be found before the money and came back in after it...

                    RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                    mid-Ohio
                    United States
                    Member #9
                    March 24, 2001
                    17948 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: December 16, 2009, 2:47 pm - IP Logged

                    "My heart goes out to the wife."

                    Which one, the mother of his daughter or the beauty queen?

                    * you don't need more tickets, just the right ticket * 
                    * your best chance at winning a lottery jackpot is to buy a ticket * 
                         Wink 

                      Raven62's avatar - binary
                      New Jersey
                      United States
                      Member #17843
                      June 28, 2005
                      17937 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: December 16, 2009, 4:58 pm - IP Logged

                      Big GrinYeah, time to go to work and get that scrub!

                      I don't know much about various states marital law but it sure seems that she would be entitled to half of the winnings since they were married and the money was won during their marriage together  Wouldn't that become an asset of their marriage?? No Pity!

                      Apparently NOT:

                      To love, honor and obey may have been part of their marriage vows, but a South Florida man apparently felt sharing his lotto winnings wasn't part of the deal, and on Thursday, a Miami-Dade judge agreed.

                      Donna Campbell, 48, appeared before Circuit Judge Jennifer D. Bailey demanding half of her husband's lotto jackpot. "She has no identifiable legal rights at this time," the judge said. "Where does the law say you automatically have a right to participate in the proceeds?"

                      http://www.lotterypost.com/news/175174

                      A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

                        Raven62's avatar - binary
                        New Jersey
                        United States
                        Member #17843
                        June 28, 2005
                        17937 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: December 16, 2009, 5:06 pm - IP Logged

                        "A $19 million jackpot went to a company called Ibis Corporation, listing the names of a group of her husband's coworkers. There was a Ramdass on the list, but it wasn't Campbell's husband � it was Janelle Ramdass, his daughter from a previous marriage. The company, [Campbell's Lawyer, Richard Lara] contends, was formed as way to hide the money from Campbell."

                        "Hey guys... let's form a corporation! Just so we can hide the profits from my wife!"

                        "Janelle Ramdass and the Ibis Corporation were named in the suit along with Arnim Ramdass. They are accused of fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, conversion and violating Florida's fraudulent transfer act."

                        Really? The Fraudulent Transfer Act?

                        And then, the article ends with this classic:

                        "Richard Lara (Campbell's Attorney), who also represents a man whose wife cashed a $28 million lottery ticket the day after their divorce became final, said he hopes that the threat of his daughter facing penalties will bring Arnim Ramdass out of hiding."

                        Um, so this attorney (Richard Lara) has made a specialty of domestic disputes arising from lottery winnings?

                        A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

                          Nino224's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg
                          Miami
                          United States
                          Member #62793
                          July 9, 2008
                          669 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: December 16, 2009, 5:30 pm - IP Logged

                          This is a tough room. Very little sympathy for the Mrs.

                          The only part of this story I find shocking is that the judge threw out the case. If they're married then she's entitled to half. Luckily there's no kids involved.

                          I'm surprised American Airlines has nothing to say. Many companies have certain expectations of their employees even outside work. I know mine does.

                          "...a chance to push everything aside, the circumstances that've controlled our lives, and do it our way now. Good, bad or otherwise. You'll maybe get lost in it, tied up in it a little bit, but if you work your way through that the real you shows up, I think. Maybe what's at your core deep down, maybe that comes out. Maybe that's what it's about." Mike Pace 

                            Tenaj's avatar - michellea
                            Charlotte NC
                            United States
                            Member #17406
                            June 18, 2005
                            4036 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: December 16, 2009, 6:48 pm - IP Logged

                            "A $19 million jackpot went to a company called Ibis Corporation, listing the names of a group of her husband's coworkers. There was a Ramdass on the list, but it wasn't Campbell's husband � it was Janelle Ramdass, his daughter from a previous marriage. The company, [Campbell's Lawyer, Richard Lara] contends, was formed as way to hide the money from Campbell."

                            "Hey guys... let's form a corporation! Just so we can hide the profits from my wife!"

                            "Janelle Ramdass and the Ibis Corporation were named in the suit along with Arnim Ramdass. They are accused of fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, conversion and violating Florida's fraudulent transfer act."

                            Really? The Fraudulent Transfer Act?

                            And then, the article ends with this classic:

                            "Richard Lara (Campbell's Attorney), who also represents a man whose wife cashed a $28 million lottery ticket the day after their divorce became final, said he hopes that the threat of his daughter facing penalties will bring Arnim Ramdass out of hiding."

                            Um, so this attorney (Richard Lara) has made a specialty of domestic disputes arising from lottery winnings?

                            Sounds like to me he made it all legal by claiming as a winner in his daughter's name.  Lottery tickets don't have names on them until you put them there.

                            takeemtothebank