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$1M lottery winner pleads guilty to theft

Massachusetts LotteryMassachusetts Lottery: $1M lottery winner pleads guilty to theft
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Swindled $21,000 from his oil company's customers

LOWELL, Mass. — A Chelmsford, Massachusetts, man who won $1 million from a Massachusetts State Lottery ticket in 2009 will serve at least 18 months behind bars after he admitted to swindling more than $21,000 from his home oil company's customers, according to Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone.

Michael Santaniello, 60, of Chelmsford, pleaded guilty in Lowell District Court last week to stealing money from more than a dozen of his clients, many of whom are elderly, by collecting deposits for service or repairs to home oil tanks and burners that he never completed, Leone said in a statement. Santaniello owns Mike's Oil Heat Service in Chelmsford.

"This defendant targeted seniors, many of whom had been his customers for years, and took advantage of them by taking deposits for work he never intended to perform and materials he never provided," Leone said in a statement.

The prosecutor said that a gambling addiction led Santaniello to cheat his customers. After Santaniello won $1 million in 2009, he won another $23,000 from the lottery over the next two years, Leone said.

Santaniello gets about $35,000 a year after taxes through 2029 from his $1 million lottery win.

"This case demonstrates how addiction, when left untreated, can lead a person to such despair and selfishness that they would manipulate and deceive vulnerable, trusting members of our community who deserve better," Leone's statement said, noting that a judge ordered Santaniello to also enroll in Gamblers Anonymous.

Santaniello pleaded guilty to several charges, including four counts of larceny over $250 from a person over 60 years of age; six counts of larceny over $250; larceny by check over $250; larceny over $250 by false pretenses; and failure to return leased personal property, according to the district attorney's office.

Santaniello was ordered to pay restitution to clients from Chelmsford, Billerica, Lexington, Burlington, Wilmington, Somerville, Bedford and Westford, Leone said.

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42 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by jamella724.
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Seattle, Washington
United States
Member #121158
January 3, 2012
87 Posts
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Posted: January 21, 2013, 6:58 am - IP Logged

What. A. Dumbass...

    rdgrnr's avatar - walt
    -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
    Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
    United States
    Member #73904
    April 28, 2009
    14903 Posts
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    Posted: January 21, 2013, 7:06 am - IP Logged

    I guess gambling can be as big a problem as anything else if it gets a hold of ya as an addiction.

    I think I have too much of a dread for losing to ever fall prey to that.

    They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem and that's probably the hardest thing for an addict to do.

    Heaven knows I'd admit my faults and flaws right away. 

    If I had any.  Big Grin

      helpmewin's avatar - dandy
      u$a
      United States
      Member #106669
      February 22, 2011
      17174 Posts
      Online
      Posted: January 21, 2013, 7:16 am - IP Logged

      I guess gambling can be as big a problem as anything else if it gets a hold of ya as an addiction.

      I think I have too much of a dread for losing to ever fall prey to that.

      They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem and that's probably the hardest thing for an addict to do.

      Heaven knows I'd admit my faults and flaws right away. 

      If I had any.  Big Grin

      were here is you need us rdg,Yes Nod

                       

        sully16's avatar - sharan
        Listens to the wind

        United States
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        October 28, 2009
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        Posted: January 21, 2013, 8:26 am - IP Logged

        Heating your home is expensive enough, and to add insult to injury, he took advantage of the elderly, more human garbage, throw away the key and keep his cell at a nice 60 degrees.

        There's only one US Flag

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          New Member
          Abaco , Bahamas
          Bahamas
          Member #138179
          January 21, 2013
          1 Posts
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          Posted: January 21, 2013, 8:34 am - IP Logged

          Wish yuh luck guys! :DBig Smile

            Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
            S.E.Iowa
            United States
            Member #120509
            December 21, 2011
            534 Posts
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            Posted: January 21, 2013, 8:37 am - IP Logged

            Heating your home is expensive enough, and to add insult to injury, he took advantage of the elderly, more human garbage, throw away the key and keep his cell at a nice 60 degrees.

            I Agree!   Couldn't have said it any better,myself.

            When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

            There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers

              lottolaughs's avatar - avatar 3824.gif
              California
              United States
              Member #40295
              May 31, 2006
              6127 Posts
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              Posted: January 21, 2013, 8:41 am - IP Logged

              Yeesh! There always seems to be some kind of negative story about people who win the lottery...talk about shady pasts! Better not buy a ticket unless you've got nothing to hide...it will all come out if you win,lol. 

                hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

                United States
                Member #52345
                May 21, 2007
                1850 Posts
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                Posted: January 21, 2013, 8:54 am - IP Logged

                Heating your home is expensive enough, and to add insult to injury, he took advantage of the elderly, more human garbage, throw away the key and keep his cell at a nice 60 degrees.

                this piece of garbage as U put it ought to feel the effects of 1600 to 1800 degrees in a small oven

                  savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
                  adelaide sa
                  Australia
                  Member #37136
                  April 11, 2006
                  2790 Posts
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                  Posted: January 21, 2013, 10:14 am - IP Logged

                  the sweet thing is he is being paid by an annuity, so cant shirk on his repayments of debts.

                   

                  im not an ahole so i could never get into this sort of trouble.

                  2014 winnings

                  JAN -$48.50;  FEB  -$77.5; MAR -$18.05;  APR -$96.05 MAY -$61.10; JUN $-85; JUL $-88.9;AUG -$144.10

                  yearly grand totalspent = 938.05won= 318.8-$619.25



                    United States
                    Member #116272
                    September 7, 2011
                    20244 Posts
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                    Posted: January 21, 2013, 10:17 am - IP Logged

                    18 month behind bars should be a good "treatment" for his illness?

                      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                      Chief Bottle Washer
                      New Jersey
                      United States
                      Member #1
                      May 31, 2000
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                      Posted: January 21, 2013, 10:21 am - IP Logged

                      the sweet thing is he is being paid by an annuity, so cant shirk on his repayments of debts.

                       

                      im not an ahole so i could never get into this sort of trouble.

                      Great point.

                       

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                        Nikkicute's avatar - nnjx1k
                        RIGHT HERE!!
                        United States
                        Member #123295
                        February 17, 2012
                        2169 Posts
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                        Posted: January 21, 2013, 11:06 am - IP Logged

                        This rascal won another $23,000 after he won $1milWhat?

                        Dang!! have good honest people who have not won even once!

                          RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                          mid-Ohio
                          United States
                          Member #9
                          March 24, 2001
                          17879 Posts
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                          Posted: January 21, 2013, 11:31 am - IP Logged

                          It's hard to live or act like a millionaire when your million comes $35K yearly after taxes over 30 years.

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

                            Avatar
                            Windermere, FL/Franklin, TN
                            United States
                            Member #50210
                            March 1, 2007
                            839 Posts
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                            Posted: January 21, 2013, 11:47 am - IP Logged

                            It's hard to live or act like a millionaire when your million comes $35K yearly after taxes over 30 years.

                            I Agree!.  His payments are also only for 20 years.