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Illinois lottery winner gets 30-month prison sentence

Illinois LotteryIllinois Lottery: Illinois lottery winner gets 30-month prison sentence

A man who won an Illinois lottery jackpot less than a year ago was sentenced to 30 months in prison Friday on gun and drug charges, federal officials said.

Eric Wagner, 33, of Freeport, pleaded guilty last year to selling a firearm to a felon in 2004 and illegally distributing marijuana in 2004 and 2005.

A federal judge in Rockford also fined Wagner $35,000, the U.S. Justice Department said in a news release.

Wagner and eight others purchased a winning Lotto ticket at a Freeport supermarket in April worth $37.5 million. They later agreed to a one-time cash payment of $21.5 million.

Despite the conviction, Wagner will be allowed to collect his share of the prize, Illinois State Lottery spokesman Courtney Hill said.

Wagner faced a maximum 10 years in prison. His attorney, James Zuba, sought a sentence of no more than 24 months, but said his client accepts the judge's decision.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Pedersen called the sentence "appropriate."

AP

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9 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by LOTTOMIKE.
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LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
Tennessee
United States
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October 15, 2004
11338 Posts
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Posted: February 4, 2006, 7:23 am - IP Logged

you'd be surprised at how often felons win major prizes.you'd figure after they do they would leave the criminal life behind if they had any sense.....

    mylollipop's avatar - Trek STLOGO6.png

    United States
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    October 21, 2005
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    Posted: February 4, 2006, 8:17 am - IP Logged

    you'd be surprised at how often felons win major prizes.you'd figure after they do they would leave the criminal life behind if they had any sense.....

    Exactly, LOTTOMIKE.  This situation re-inforces what the woman who hid her earnings from her husband did. (January 20th, 2006 LottoPost). The temptation is too great for a person who has been addicted to drugs and/or is in recovery, to pass up getting back into old habits with all that money to support the habit(s).

      Avatar
      detroit/michigan/usa
      United States
      Member #12322
      March 11, 2005
      36 Posts
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      Posted: February 4, 2006, 9:40 am - IP Logged

      I think jail is the best thing that every happened to this young man. Now he has considerable time to reflect on his life style choices, and perhaps when he gets out, he will make better choices.  Or........he'll be broke in a year or less.

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        Sparta, NJ
        United States
        Member #18331
        July 9, 2005
        1977 Posts
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        Posted: February 4, 2006, 12:55 pm - IP Logged

        Sure glad to hear that temptation is something a person can never over come.  An open lane in front of you obviously causes you to speed; therefore you should turn in your license and immediately donate your vehicle to the Church.  Oops, there would be a temptation to drive illegally.  You should have your arms cut off, so you won't be tempted.   The world will be safer.   You should also stop buying lottery tickets, because you will be tempted to do something no perfect persom would do.   Think, you have zero will power, any temption is tooooooooooooo much temptation for you.  Humm, watching an advertisement is also temptation.  You need to  poke your eyes out immediately.  You will be tempted by someone in an uplift bra - or maybe a jockstrap - and that would be a disaster.

        Wait, I have the perfect solution. Sell everything you own.  Go to down  town Bahgdad.  Take off all you clothes and sit in the middle of an intersection.  Your temptations will all disappear!

        Cheers

        |||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

        I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

          mylollipop's avatar - Trek STLOGO6.png

          United States
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          October 21, 2005
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          Posted: February 4, 2006, 1:21 pm - IP Logged

          Never is a strong word.  But what can we say, N-E-V-E-R is forever for some. 

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            Sparta, NJ
            United States
            Member #18331
            July 9, 2005
            1977 Posts
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            Posted: February 4, 2006, 8:14 pm - IP Logged

            Never is a strong word.  But what can we say, N-E-V-E-R is forever for some. 

            Especially if you have EVER made a mistake.  Guarantee, you can never be accepted again.  The temptation could arise out of no where.  I know a kid once, he looked in a girlie magazine.  Eight years old.  Now he is in rehab, he looked at another one 15 years later and his wife never forgave him.  The temptation was unbearable.   Maybe she should hide his paycheck in the drawer with the tampoons.  Then he won't be tempted  to buy a lottery ticket.

            Cheers

            |||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

            I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

              Avatar

              United States
              Member #10720
              January 23, 2005
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              Posted: February 4, 2006, 8:28 pm - IP Logged

              Did he do these crimes AFTER he won or BEFORE? Although there's no excuse either way.

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                NY
                United States
                Member #23835
                October 16, 2005
                3474 Posts
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                Posted: February 6, 2006, 5:27 pm - IP Logged

                you'd be surprised at how often felons win major prizes.you'd figure after they do they would leave the criminal life behind if they had any sense.....

                It's a safe bet that felons win lottery prizes in proportion to how often felons buy lottery tickets, just as it is with how often hairdressers, bricklayers and people convicted of misdemeanors.

                As presumably noted by  Larry, he committed his crimes before winning. The article doesn't say his crime was a felony and for all we know he simply sold half an ounce to his friend and had an unregistered handgun. You know, things that shouldn't be illegal in the first place.

                  LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                  Tennessee
                  United States
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                  October 15, 2004
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                  Posted: February 8, 2006, 8:02 am - IP Logged

                  Did he do these crimes AFTER he won or BEFORE? Although there's no excuse either way.

                  your right.either way there is no excuse for it.......