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Police foil alleged plot to kidnap lottery winners

Loto-QuébecLoto-Québec: Police foil alleged plot to kidnap lottery winners

Police in Montreal say they've foiled a bizarre extortion and murder plot apparently aimed at a couple who pocketed a $27 million lottery jackpot last month.

An 18-year-old Mexican citizen was arrested Monday afternoon in a Montreal neighbourhood and arraigned yesterday for conspiracy to abduct, conspiracy to commit murder and other charges.

Edwin Scarlotte Mata Lima, who arrived in Canada four months ago, is alleged to have planned the murder of Zenovij Pacholuk and Dolores Coffey, winners of the second-largest lottery windfall in Quebec history.

According to Montreal police, Lima was planning a home invasion in Pacholuk and Coffey's house in the working-class LaSalle neighbourhood, after which the plan was to force Pacholuk to go to the bank to withdraw large sums of money — possibly as much as $10 million.

Investigators allege he was intending to then kill the couple.

"It's a very unusual case. We've heard of lottery winners getting harassed by people coming to the door and asking for money or donations, but nothing like this," said Const. Olivier Lapointe, a police spokesperson.

Police said they were told Lima was actively trying to buy a gun. They began following the suspect last Friday and decided to arrest him before he could arrange a successful deal.

But police said they don't believe Lima presented himself at the Pacholuk/Coffey residence — which he apparently found in the phone book — and that he never threatened the couple directly.

Lima is not known to have had any brushes with Montreal police, Lapointe added.

The TVA television network, citing police sources, said Lima first began telling friends and acquaintances about his plans in the days after the winnings were awarded.

The network said that while his associates first thought he was joking, one of them was sufficiently scared to go to the authorities.

Police wouldn't say how they uncovered the plot, but did say that when they learned of Lima's alleged intentions, they immediately notified Pacholuk and Coffey.

It turned out the couple were out of town with their 3-year-old daughter.

"We told them it would be a good idea not to sleep at home for a few days," said Lapointe.

Pacholuk and Coffey won $27 million in the May 26 drawing of Lotto 6/49. According to a Loto-Quebec press release from the time, the Ukrainian-born Pacholuk simply said "Okay" when a convenience store clerk told him he'd won the jackpot. He then handed back the winning ticket. He then phoned his wife and asked whether she'd be available to pop by the Loto-Quebec offices because "we've won a bit of money."

At the news conference to proclaim their winnings, the couple said their only immediate plan was to take their daughter to Walt Disney World.

Pacholuk, who like Coffey is an accountant, told the media throng, "We'll talk to the boss and we'll see. I want to take some holidays before making any decisions."

The lottery corporation's website states that "Loto-Quebec reserves the right to publish, for advertising purposes, the names, addresses and photos of winners."

This incident and the subsequent arrest are sure to raise questions concerning the privacy of winners.

Neither Pacholuk nor Coffey could be reached last night.

Toronto Star

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15 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by hypersoniq.
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Coastal Georgia
United States
Member #2653
October 30, 2003
1866 Posts
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Posted: June 20, 2007, 8:31 am - IP Logged

"This incident and the subsequent arrest are sure to raise questions concerning the privacy of winners".

Ya think ???

 

                               

              

 

 

    Avatar
    Raleigh, NC
    United States
    Member #40946
    June 9, 2006
    70 Posts
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    Posted: June 20, 2007, 8:50 am - IP Logged

    Winners deserve all the privacy they can get.  Unfortunately, they only get all the privacy they can afford, which means winners pretty much have to allocate a percentage of their winnings to undoing the damage of the state lotto's media blitz.

      JackpotWanna's avatar - squiz

      United States
      Member #4121
      March 23, 2004
      817 Posts
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      Posted: June 20, 2007, 8:58 am - IP Logged

      Wow~very scary.....

        justxploring's avatar - villiarna
        Wandering Aimlessly
        United States
        Member #25360
        November 5, 2005
        4461 Posts
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        Posted: June 20, 2007, 9:32 am - IP Logged

         "Police wouldn't say how they uncovered the plot, but did say that when they learned of Lima's alleged intentions, they immediately notified Pacholuk and Coffey."

        What plot?  A crime wasn't committed, was it?  He didn't contact the family or even go to their home.  Maybe I watch too many Law & Order shows, but I didn't think a person could be arrested on what he might be thinking.  It's commendable that the police took the alleged threat seriously and did the right thing by warning the family.  So I guess if you are a celebrity or a lottery winner, you are well protected by the authorities.  If you're the average woman begging for a restraining order to keep some nutcase from stalking you, the standard answer is "we can't do anything until a crime has been committed."  Of course this happened in Montreal, where they have a lot less crime than most American cities of its size.

        Well, this should teach people who win that kind of money to be more cautious, especially with young children at risk.  People always are quoted in the press "I just want life to go on as usual" but that's not realistic. 

          Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
          Zeta Reticuli Star System
          United States
          Member #30470
          January 17, 2006
          10348 Posts
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          Posted: June 20, 2007, 10:10 am - IP Logged

          The article said that the guy got their name ouit of the phone book, so I don't think it had much to do with how cautiouis they were or weren't. 

          This is a darn good example of why jackpot winners should be allowed to be anonymous.

          Justxploring

          Re: "A crime wasn't committed". A crime wasn't commited in the Ft Dix bomb plot, either, was it? When the police can step in and stop a crime beofre it's committed, more power to them! 

          Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

          Lep

          There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

            JackpotWanna's avatar - squiz

            United States
            Member #4121
            March 23, 2004
            817 Posts
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            Posted: June 20, 2007, 10:26 am - IP Logged

            You got to move!! Impossible to stay in the same house after a big win like that.  You are a sitting target.  Atleast check into a nice hotel. 

              Avatar
              Coastal Georgia
              United States
              Member #2653
              October 30, 2003
              1866 Posts
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              Posted: June 20, 2007, 10:28 am - IP Logged

              I Agree!  with jackpotwanna........... Take necessary precautions !!

               

                                             

                            

               

               

                chasingadream's avatar - Archangel 01.jpg

                United States
                Member #38687
                May 3, 2006
                315 Posts
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                Posted: June 20, 2007, 11:05 am - IP Logged

                "This incident and the subsequent arrest are sure to raise questions concerning the privacy of winners".

                Ya think ???

                LOLI Agree!

                Oogle  waiting patiently for my jackpot

                  psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

                  United States
                  Member #4877
                  May 30, 2004
                  5120 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: June 20, 2007, 11:19 pm - IP Logged

                  Wow~very scary.....

                  Let's not get upset.....yet>>>>unless U-WON

                  a big old $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ JACKPOT!

                  Master Mata Lima, citizen of Mexico,.............will be treated well

                  and sent on his way>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> south for a new and

                  better life in the USA.........................the Land of Milk and Money! 

                  Hopefully, he starts a new business in running guns, "selling" a

                  pound of butter or a nice money laundry in DC (don't worry), this

                  KID is SMART and we must admire him for being PROGRESSIVE!!

                  AFTER>>>>>>>>>>ALL>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

                  HE's ONLY......."EIGHTEEN" !!!!!!

                  LOL all JACKPOT player's...........(keep your door's locked)

                  PSYKOMO 

                    dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

                    United States
                    Member #2338
                    September 17, 2003
                    2063 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: June 21, 2007, 1:32 am - IP Logged

                    It's stories like this that will make it easier to stay anonymous after a win. It's only a matter of time before a lottery winner gets killed and a winner who warns the lottery that they might be in danger could win twice. Or their heirs at least.

                    Yet another reason to stay anonymous after a win. Better to have a trust as the winner and pay a lawyer to collect the check (better be safe on that one though).


                      United States
                      Member #51688
                      April 19, 2007
                      200 Posts
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                      Posted: June 21, 2007, 7:51 am - IP Logged

                       "Police wouldn't say how they uncovered the plot, but did say that when they learned of Lima's alleged intentions, they immediately notified Pacholuk and Coffey."

                      What plot?  A crime wasn't committed, was it?  He didn't contact the family or even go to their home.  Maybe I watch too many Law & Order shows, but I didn't think a person could be arrested on what he might be thinking.  It's commendable that the police took the alleged threat seriously and did the right thing by warning the family.  So I guess if you are a celebrity or a lottery winner, you are well protected by the authorities.  If you're the average woman begging for a restraining order to keep some nutcase from stalking you, the standard answer is "we can't do anything until a crime has been committed."  Of course this happened in Montreal, where they have a lot less crime than most American cities of its size.

                      Well, this should teach people who win that kind of money to be more cautious, especially with young children at risk.  People always are quoted in the press "I just want life to go on as usual" but that's not realistic. 

                      well  here  again  we  have  greed  and  "the  love  of  money " trying  to  take    someting  that  was  not  theirs  ...

                      we  live  in  a  twisted  society , just  want  thse  people  who  won  to  be  happy  and  try  to  stay  together  and  raise  the  child  with  all  that  loot , I  am  sure  there  will  be  more  death  threats  and  stealing  in  the  future it  always  happensUS Flag

                        MillionsWanted's avatar - 24Qa6LT

                        Norway
                        Member #9517
                        December 10, 2004
                        1272 Posts
                        Online
                        Posted: June 21, 2007, 8:20 pm - IP Logged

                        Hope it won't be necessary for a winner to be kidnapped or murdered before the lotteries understand they'll have to give the winners full anonymity.

                          JackpotWanna's avatar - squiz

                          United States
                          Member #4121
                          March 23, 2004
                          817 Posts
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                          Posted: June 21, 2007, 11:48 pm - IP Logged

                          Sadly in NY, winners can't be anonymous. 

                            Avatar
                            Qabloc!zewana
                            Neutral Zone
                            Member #14628
                            April 29, 2005
                            31 Posts
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                            Posted: June 22, 2007, 4:55 pm - IP Logged

                            Wow!  There are illegals in Canada, too??  I thought it was just in California, Arizona and Texas.