Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
The time is now 12:04 am
You last visited September 15, 2014, 12:03 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Lottery investigator testifies she urged illegal immigrant to keep, sign $3M ticket

New York LotteryNew York Lottery: Lottery investigator testifies she urged illegal immigrant to keep, sign $3M ticket
52
Rating:

NEW CITY, N.Y. — Testimony continued on Friday in a trial over a $3 million New York lottery ticket.

(See Opening statements in $3M NY lottery ticket trial, Lottery Post, Sep. 20, 2012.)

A New York State Lottery Commission investigator testified Friday that she urged an illegal immigrant living in Spring Valley to keep his signature on a $3 million scratch-off ticket rather than let someone else take ownership.

When Elfido DeLaRoca, 45, of Spring Valley came back to her five months later in July 2011 saying he had not received any of the winnings from A to Z delicatessen store clerk Atif Ali, 28, who signed the ticket and became the sole beneficiary in the eyes of the state, investigator Lillian Lanza said she told him, "I told you so."

DeLaRoca eventually took Lanza's advice, retained an attorney and complained to the Spring Valley police and Rockland prosecutors that his winnings were stolen. His complaint is being brought against Ali, store owner Riaz Khan, 45, and employee Mubeen Ashraf, 24. Each face first-degree larceny charges.

DeLaRoca, a barber with a 2-year-old daughter, bought the winning $10 ticket at the Hickory Street store on Feb. 3, 2011. A day later, the three men took him to the lottery office in Fishkill, where the non-English-speaking DeLaRoca signed an agreement turning the ticket over to Ali.

Because of the amount of money involved, Lanza was assigned to investigate to ensure DeLaRoca willingly turned over the ticket. She testified she eventually allowed Ali's claim to go through, despite her suspicions, when they provided a signed agreement and DeLaRoca initially told her he agreed.

Lanza said DeLaRoca told her he didn't want his name publicized and attached to the winning ticket because "he fears for his family back home." She said he told her that he trusted Ali and believed Ali would keep his word and pay him his share.

DeLaRoca, who doesn't speak, read or write English, testified that the three men coerced him into signing over the ticket by threatening he would be deported if he collected the money and never see his daughter again. He also said they threatened to report him to federal immigration officials. He claimed he agreed to give them 5 percent, not the 50 percent contained in a contract written in English.

He also testified the three men told him what to tell Lanza over the telephone in February when they were at Ashraf's house.

The defense attorneys have questioned DeLaRoca's motives and truthfulness, contending he used the three men because he didn't want his name publicized. They claim he is using the prosecution to back out of the financial deal with the three men.

DeLaRoca said when he testified that he showed lottery officials a Guatemalan passport as identification when he allowed Ali to sign the ticket. He also said no one threatened to deport him at the lottery office.

He said he's only received $1,300 cash in two payments from Ali. DeLaRoca also testified that he received $520 a month in worker's compensation from 1999 until three months ago, making extra money as a barber, first in Spring Valley and now in Queens.

Close to $500,000 of the winnings from the scratch-off ticket are being held in an account under Ali's name with Provident Bank in Spring Valley.

Ali deposited the first $150,000 payment in March 2011 and then received about $400,000 from a finance company on four future $150,000 payments from the lottery. The $3 million jackpot is paid out over 20 annualized payments.

Lanza testified Friday that she told DeLaRoca in February 2011 the state would tax his winnings but he would not lose the money or get deported for living in the United States illegally. She said she advised DeLaRoca to sign the ticket to protect his share, telling him these partnerships can go bad when one person gives up his rights.

The Journal News

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

49 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by Brcebrce.
Page 1 of 4

United States
Member #111446
May 25, 2011
6323 Posts
Offline
Posted: September 29, 2012, 9:02 am - IP Logged

Lesson here: Learn to speak, read and write in English.   Smash

    hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

    United States
    Member #52345
    May 21, 2007
    1844 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: September 29, 2012, 9:10 am - IP Logged

    Lesson here: Learn to speak, read and write in English.   Smash

    Agree with stupid


      United States
      Member #111446
      May 25, 2011
      6323 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: September 29, 2012, 9:19 am - IP Logged

      Agree with stupid

      Agree with stupid

        Avatar
        Texas
        United States
        Member #132460
        September 4, 2012
        483 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: September 29, 2012, 10:31 am - IP Logged

        I believe this is a syndicated activity.  An extortion maybe since Mr. Dela Roca is an illegal immigrant.  This should be given priority of the authority so as to inform others of this illegal activity.  I just hope that these men will be caught and punished soon.

          HoLeeKau's avatar - YheaShea
          Idaho
          United States
          Member #94285
          July 17, 2010
          1705 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: September 29, 2012, 10:41 am - IP Logged

          I'm not sure English can fix naive or stupid.   Sure, he'd have known the contract was for more than he'd agreed on, but he's not getting any of it anyway, so he still comes out with nothing no matter what the contract said.


            United States
            Member #116272
            September 7, 2011
            20244 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: September 29, 2012, 10:51 am - IP Logged

            Lesson here: Learn to speak, read and write in English.   Smash

            Do whats right: Make all Americans learn the Spanish.

              Avatar
              St. Pete Beach, Fl
              United States
              Member #131704
              August 16, 2012
              40 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: September 29, 2012, 11:07 am - IP Logged

              Lesson here: Learn to speak, read and write in English.   Smash

              So I guess because this guy is an immigrant and can't speak or read english he deserves to be ripped off??  Lets assume you are visiting Italy and you win the lottery, does your not speaking Italian justify some locals lying, coercing you and ripping you off?  Obviously that's unlikely because most of us are slightly more sophisticated and wouldnt' let something like this happen.  However, we're not all fortunate enough to be American and/or 'sophisticated' with respect to the legal system.  Its easy to say that he's illegal and shouldn't be here to begin with, but there's the bigger picture of what these guys did to this lottery winner.  I fully believe they saw an opportunity and screwed this guy.  I hope they are penalized to the full extent of the law.


                United States
                Member #116272
                September 7, 2011
                20244 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: September 29, 2012, 11:17 am - IP Logged

                So I guess because this guy is an immigrant and can't speak or read english he deserves to be ripped off??  Lets assume you are visiting Italy and you win the lottery, does your not speaking Italian justify some locals lying, coercing you and ripping you off?  Obviously that's unlikely because most of us are slightly more sophisticated and wouldnt' let something like this happen.  However, we're not all fortunate enough to be American and/or 'sophisticated' with respect to the legal system.  Its easy to say that he's illegal and shouldn't be here to begin with, but there's the bigger picture of what these guys did to this lottery winner.  I fully believe they saw an opportunity and screwed this guy.  I hope they are penalized to the full extent of the law.

                This is so elementary......... Anything a person gains by means of BREAKING THE LAW, is subject to confiscation and loss when they get caught breaking the law. Why are people confused about this???

                Of course the people who stole the ticket also broke the law and will be punished.... but in the mean time the Illegal immigrant gets nothing and goes back to the country of origin, No expensive court trials, no questions asked, no special privileges, just bye bye thanks for stoppin by.


                  United States
                  Member #116272
                  September 7, 2011
                  20244 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: September 29, 2012, 11:23 am - IP Logged

                  We need one Sheriff for the whole country.......

                  Joe Arpaio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                    Lynn-Lynn's avatar - yocco
                    New Member
                    Kansas city Mo
                    United States
                    Member #133410
                    September 29, 2012
                    7 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: September 29, 2012, 11:54 am - IP Logged

                    the point is he won fair.. Buying the winning ticket has nothing to do with being a illegal immigrant. There was no wrong doing on his part. so he should get his winning as the sole beneficiary. Its sad that those people were not his friends

                      Avatar
                      St. Pete Beach, Fl
                      United States
                      Member #131704
                      August 16, 2012
                      40 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: September 29, 2012, 12:22 pm - IP Logged

                      the point is he won fair.. Buying the winning ticket has nothing to do with being a illegal immigrant. There was no wrong doing on his part. so he should get his winning as the sole beneficiary. Its sad that those people were not his friends

                      This was my point.  He won the ticket in a perfectly legal manner.  If you have a problem with his being here illegally you can go through the process of having him deported.  He still, however, has every right to keep all of his winnings.  One should have no bearing on the other IMO.  I think the investigator said as much:

                       

                      "Lanza testified Friday that she told DeLaRoca in February 2011 the state would tax his winnings but he would not lose the money or get deported for living in the United States illegally."


                        United States
                        Member #111446
                        May 25, 2011
                        6323 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: September 29, 2012, 2:14 pm - IP Logged

                        Do whats right: Make all Americans learn the Spanish.

                        Si, todos debemos ser llerados hasta hablan espanol!  Yes Nod

                          KyMystikal's avatar - Lottery-016.jpg
                          Clarksville,Tennessee
                          United States
                          Member #8658
                          November 13, 2004
                          1930 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: September 29, 2012, 2:29 pm - IP Logged

                          I personally don't think either is innocent. I don't see why not having his name publicized had to do anything with his family back home. I think it's because he felt it would bring attention to him being here illegally and getting him deported. I also feel the lottery investigator had no right to say he would not be deported when that is not her field of work. Let the man get his money and let immigration do whatever they are going to do. If I won 3 million they could deport me to Antarctica for all I care.

                          I love doubles and remember, it's just a game!!!!!!


                            United States
                            Member #111446
                            May 25, 2011
                            6323 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: September 29, 2012, 2:37 pm - IP Logged

                            I personally don't think either is innocent. I don't see why not having his name publicized had to do anything with his family back home. I think it's because he felt it would bring attention to him being here illegally and getting him deported. I also feel the lottery investigator had no right to say he would not be deported when that is not her field of work. Let the man get his money and let immigration do whatever they are going to do. If I won 3 million they could deport me to Antarctica for all I care.

                            LOL  For $3 million they could deport me to  Alpha Centauri.