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Lottery winner facing tax fraud trial dies

After the Big WinAfter the Big Win: Lottery winner facing tax fraud trial dies

Editor's Note: A less in-depth news story about this lottery winner was posted earlier today: $13 million Florida Lotto winner dies a pauper

Former lottery multi-millionaire Alex Toth, who was broke and facing tax fraud charges, has died at the age of 60.

Toth was scheduled to go on trial in June, accused of filing fake tax returns with his wife, Rhoda, who has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

By the time the couple were charged in 2006, authorities said they appeared to have no assets. The $13 million lottery money won 18 years ago was long gone, and the Hudson couple were living in squalid conditions, their only electricity coming through an extension cord rigged to their car engine.

The Toths said they lost the money through gambling, gifts and living the high life. The money created rifts in their family, leading to a lawsuit between Rhoda Toth and her son in 1996.

Toth's attorney, Bjorn Brunvand, said his client died in early April. Pasco County Health Department spokeswoman Deanna Krautner confirmed Alex Joseph Toth died April 5. The cause of death was not released.

Brunvand said the trial would have been "interesting," and that he planned to blame Rhoda Toth, who Brunvand said manipulated her husband into signing paperwork.

"I don't think Alex Toth, during the time period in question, was capable of knowingly and willingly participating in the scheme," Brunvand said. "Whatever his wife would tell him to do, he would do."

According to Rhoda Toth's plea agreement filed in federal court, the Toths won the lottery to be paid out over 20 years. When the payments were being made, their taxes were withheld. In 1999, they sold the annuity to Singer Asset and Finance for two lump sums, $1.59 million to Alex Toth and $1.49 million to Rhoda Toth.

That year, they filed tax returns reporting their income as if they had received the same annuity payment they had received before. They failed to report the lump sum payments from selling the annuity, the plea agreement states.

In subsequent years, the agreement states, the Toths falsely reported gambling losses to offset the payments they were no longer receiving.

In total, the agreement states, Rhoda Toth owes the government $1.1 million and her husband owed $1.4 million

Brunvand said the Toths split up last year when Alex Toth went to a federal medical facility to be treated for mental problems that rendered him incompetent to stand trial. Although Rhoda Toth accompanied her husband to court for a hearing in August about his competency, when he returned from treatment that restored his competence, Rhoda Toth had "moved on to someone else," Brunvand said.

Last year, Brunvand filed with the court a letter from physician Gary Levine, who said Alex Toth had been involved in "multiple motor vehicle accidents," the most recent one on June 4.

Toth had "chronic pain syndrome," the physician wrote, as well as Type II diabetes; a poorly controlled, penicillin-resistant staph infection; and a history of severe esophagitis, gastritis and degenerative joint and disc disease.

"He also has chronic anxiety and panic attacks," Levine wrote, and was taking multiple medications.

Tampa Tribune

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14 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by MillionsWanted.
Page 1 of 1
jackpotismine's avatar - kanji for_peace.jpg
Kunming
China
Member #57910
January 23, 2008
3626 Posts
Offline
Posted: April 25, 2008, 11:40 pm - IP Logged

Editor's Note: A less in-depth news story about this lottery winner was posted earlier today: $13 million Florida Lotto winner dies a pauper

Former lottery multi-millionaire Alex Toth, who was broke and facing tax fraud charges, has died at the age of 60.

Toth was scheduled to go on trial in June, accused of filing fake tax returns with his wife, Rhoda, who has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

By the time the couple were charged in 2006, authorities said they appeared to have no assets. The $13 million lottery money won 18 years ago was long gone, and the Hudson couple were living in squalid conditions, their only electricity coming through an extension cord rigged to their car engine.

The Toths said they lost the money through gambling, gifts and living the high life. The money created rifts in their family, leading to a lawsuit between Rhoda Toth and her son in 1996.

Toth's attorney, Bjorn Brunvand, said his client died in early April. Pasco County Health Department spokeswoman Deanna Krautner confirmed Alex Joseph Toth died April 5. The cause of death was not released.

Brunvand said the trial would have been "interesting," and that he planned to blame Rhoda Toth, who Brunvand said manipulated her husband into signing paperwork.

"I don't think Alex Toth, during the time period in question, was capable of knowingly and willingly participating in the scheme," Brunvand said. "Whatever his wife would tell him to do, he would do."

According to Rhoda Toth's plea agreement filed in federal court, the Toths won the lottery to be paid out over 20 years. When the payments were being made, their taxes were withheld. In 1999, they sold the annuity to Singer Asset and Finance for two lump sums, $1.59 million to Alex Toth and $1.49 million to Rhoda Toth.

That year, they filed tax returns reporting their income as if they had received the same annuity payment they had received before. They failed to report the lump sum payments from selling the annuity, the plea agreement states.

In subsequent years, the agreement states, the Toths falsely reported gambling losses to offset the payments they were no longer receiving.

In total, the agreement states, Rhoda Toth owes the government $1.1 million and her husband owed $1.4 million

Brunvand said the Toths split up last year when Alex Toth went to a federal medical facility to be treated for mental problems that rendered him incompetent to stand trial. Although Rhoda Toth accompanied her husband to court for a hearing in August about his competency, when he returned from treatment that restored his competence, Rhoda Toth had "moved on to someone else," Brunvand said.

Last year, Brunvand filed with the court a letter from physician Gary Levine, who said Alex Toth had been involved in "multiple motor vehicle accidents," the most recent one on June 4.

Toth had "chronic pain syndrome," the physician wrote, as well as Type II diabetes; a poorly controlled, penicillin-resistant staph infection; and a history of severe esophagitis, gastritis and degenerative joint and disc disease.

"He also has chronic anxiety and panic attacks," Levine wrote, and was taking multiple medications.

At least they had a chance at the "good life". Winning doesn't guarantee happiness only opportunities. Very few people get a chance to win a Jackpot.

Play to win!

    Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
    Zeta Reticuli Star System
    United States
    Member #30470
    January 17, 2006
    10344 Posts
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    Posted: April 26, 2008, 9:56 am - IP Logged

    I sincerely hope those members here who are fond of making "how to beat the tax man" posts see this article.

    Also I hope people take note of this from the article:

    "In 1999, they sold the annuity to Singer Asset and Finance for two lumpsums, $1.59 million to Alex Toth and $1.49 million to Rhoda Toth."

    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.

      DC81's avatar - batman39
      MI
      United States
      Member #54830
      August 31, 2007
      985 Posts
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      Posted: April 26, 2008, 10:36 am - IP Logged

      Were they really dumb enough to think that they could do that and the IRS wouldn't know or look into it??? Then again, annuity buyers are a shady bunch.

       

      Oh and just as I expected with the gambling thing.

      You can't predict random.

        Piaceri's avatar - sarsony1
        Republic of Texas
        United States
        Member #57557
        January 9, 2008
        1095 Posts
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        Posted: April 26, 2008, 11:08 am - IP Logged

        Perfect example of why a $13m lottery win is not enough to have an extravagant lifestyle.  After the taxes are paid, there is enough to invest for a very comfortable retirement and still have a few extra comforts.  Buying luxuries is like buying a horse - it's not the purchase price, but the maintenance cost that is the most costly.  People who don't realize the maintenance cost of living a luxurious lifestyle go broke fast.

        face

        singlewinnersinglewinnersinglewinner   

          Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
          Zeta Reticuli Star System
          United States
          Member #30470
          January 17, 2006
          10344 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: April 26, 2008, 12:33 pm - IP Logged

          Were they really dumb enough to think that they could do that and the IRS wouldn't know or look into it??? Then again, annuity buyers are a shady bunch.

           

          Oh and just as I expected with the gambling thing.

          Put it this way, people on this board have recently suggested moving to a tax free state after they've hit a jackpot, to beat the state they moved from out of the taxes.

          One size fits all, and all that.

          I agree with you 150% about the gambling.

          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.

            reddhott425's avatar - Alice
            New Member
            College Park
            United States
            Member #53633
            July 14, 2007
            24 Posts
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            Posted: April 26, 2008, 7:57 pm - IP Logged

            This is one sad story.  I sure hope that everyone involved learns from this, chalks it up to experience and has good luck in the future.

            Group Hug  ONE COLOR, ONE VOICE, MANY CONNECTIONS...........

              DC81's avatar - batman39
              MI
              United States
              Member #54830
              August 31, 2007
              985 Posts
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              Posted: April 26, 2008, 8:21 pm - IP Logged

              Put it this way, people on this board have recently suggested moving to a tax free state after they've hit a jackpot, to beat the state they moved from out of the taxes.

              One size fits all, and all that.

              I agree with you 150% about the gambling.

              Well, with the taxes I don't think there's anything wrong with moving to a state/county/city without a income tax, but you're not going to trick anyone by doing it by claiming you lived at this place before the numbers were drawn and you'd have to pay anyway. Just move afterwards if you really want to and pay what you owe at tax time and get it over. Then next year you won't have to bother with it again and if you're smart with the money you should be able to make it back (and them some, even after Federal taxes) in no time.

              You can't predict random.

                JAP69's avatar - alas
                South Carolina
                United States
                Member #6
                November 4, 2001
                8790 Posts
                Online
                Posted: April 26, 2008, 10:50 pm - IP Logged

                Do ya think the gov't is trying to get a lot here in taxes

                sold the annuity to Singer Asset and Finance for two lump sums, $1.59 million to Alex Toth and $1.49 million to Rhoda Toth.

                In total, the agreement states, Rhoda Toth owes the government $1.1 million and her husband owed $1.4 million

                 

                You better watch out you better not cry the tax man is coming to town.

                WHATT


                  United States
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                  March 8, 2008
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                  Posted: April 27, 2008, 12:43 am - IP Logged

                  Seem to me this couple never tried to obtain intelligent advise, or ignore it when it was given.  They won every little money, especially over annuity payments.  That is chicken feed for a lottery winner.  They won millions, they want millions. They were too dumb to realize they were never gonna get millions. As with almost every single jackpot winner that doesn't plan beyound day two of the winning, they were doomed.  They never stood a chance.  They might as well as taken their clothes off, dumped pig blood all over them and ran through the Montanma mountains.  They were blinded by the annuity lure and were to dumb to blink So they tried to be slick and sell of the annuity, not realizing they were way out of their leauge.  Then didn't pay the taxes that were on the books.  This is pure Katz & Jammer stuipidity.  Once it makes the books, it never come off the books.

                  Its hard to feel sorry for some one who scratches his head with a shotgun barrel and winds up blowing his brains off.  Dumb is dumb, sand chocolate don't make it anything but dummer. These people been walking sucking on shotgun lollipops since the day they won the money.  Descruction was only put on delay so the gods could set up seats and watch how superior humans can be dumber then three day old dirt.

                  You have to have a plan; multiple plans. A plan for $10M, a plan for $20M, a plan for $50M, etc.  Without a plan, you are doomed.  You don't need detail plans, but you need a plan.  Make a list of what you want from life, if you could afford the item.  Make a rationale list of who in your familiy and freiends you would give what to.  Make a list of what charities are your favorites; determine how much to give them.  Find a place you can go hide and be by yourself. Some place where you can think. Surround youself with four of your most trust friends. Mom, Pop, Sis, and your wife. Spend a week thinking of what could go wrong, and make a list so that you can get professional help in ensuring it doesn't go wrong. Figure, in rough numbers, what you are going to need to survive with for the rest of your life. Trusts for kids. Trust for grand kids. Senior facilities for gramps.

                  When you are done with the plan, you know how much you can waste and how much you can do with the rest. That is how to live the luxury life and no go broke.  Depending on the value, the distrbitution changes.

                  I have a plan for $40M, $50M, $60m, all the way to $100M.  Each one builds on the lower; mostly allocate more and more to specialy people and groups. Under $40M, my plan is limited. Fewer resources, fewer lifestyles.  What never changes is the 10% rule. No matter what, I take 10% off the top and I take my firneds and have a reunion party of all reunion parties.  Get the dumbness out of me and prepare for the seriousness business of managing money.

                  You can do it, even with a $10M annuity.  You just have realise you don't have $10M and plan accordingly.  Stay off drugs. Stay off Alchohal. Stay off women 30-years your senior.  You will have a great life@!

                    DC81's avatar - batman39
                    MI
                    United States
                    Member #54830
                    August 31, 2007
                    985 Posts
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                    Posted: April 27, 2008, 6:56 pm - IP Logged

                    Of course you can't completely trust your advisors either, I mean you can't just let them have free reign over your assets while you "retire" and don't have a hand in the managing of things to see where all the money is going, you need to take an active role and be the one who makes the real, final decisions with YOUR money, that's why they're advisors not partners you’re supposed to listen to their advise and come up with a decision which should be done after doing your own research, not just blindly follow what they say, same goes for anyone else that is working for you to manage your assets. Even with good intentions these people aren't infallible and just because it's their job it doesn’t mean they’re not immune to stupidity and you never go all, half or even a quarter in into a single, potentially risky investment no matter how much of a “sure thing” it might be.

                    You have to educate yourself to the point where you can get a good handle on things and not be completely clueless as to what's going on, you need to be constantly learning. That's what a lot of these people don’t seem to do. They think for some reason they could get away with not paying Uncle Sam his share to squander. It's hard to fathom how so many people don't even consider the taxes they're going to have or think that the initial tax taken initially is all they'll have to pay. A lot of us think five, ten million dollars (lump sum or annutity) is a lot of money and to 98% of us, it is. It's probably more than we'll ever see but you'll find out that it won’t last forever if you’re foolish with it. There's no such thing as an infinite amount of money, you're not the federal reserve, you can’t just print more money, which is isn’t a good thing either, but that’s another issue that’s really far off topic. Then of course, there's the excessive gambling....

                    Okay, I'm half rambling about another story I just read from just over a year ago about a 1995 Wisconsin winner (Andrew Cicero) of 5.5M that went broke and is or was suing blaming advisors from an investment firm. From the story they apparently invested nearly everything in stocks, just before the tech bubble burst, which as his lawyer said, was breathtakingly irresponsible. Of course Mr. Cicero also apparently thought it "smart" to sell what was left of his annuity without any consideration of the taxes he’d incur.

                    I know we’re all armchair quarterbacks since we haven’t been in this situation, but I’d like to think most of us have learned from these stories as to what NOT to do...

                     

                     

                    Rant

                    You can't predict random.

                      JackpotWanna's avatar - squiz

                      United States
                      Member #4121
                      March 23, 2004
                      817 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: April 27, 2008, 9:09 pm - IP Logged

                      Of course you can't completely trust your advisors either, I mean you can't just let them have free reign over your assets while you "retire" and don't have a hand in the managing of things to see where all the money is going, you need to take an active role and be the one who makes the real, final decisions with YOUR money, that's why they're advisors not partners you’re supposed to listen to their advise and come up with a decision which should be done after doing your own research, not just blindly follow what they say, same goes for anyone else that is working for you to manage your assets. Even with good intentions these people aren't infallible and just because it's their job it doesn’t mean they’re not immune to stupidity and you never go all, half or even a quarter in into a single, potentially risky investment no matter how much of a “sure thing” it might be.

                      You have to educate yourself to the point where you can get a good handle on things and not be completely clueless as to what's going on, you need to be constantly learning. That's what a lot of these people don’t seem to do. They think for some reason they could get away with not paying Uncle Sam his share to squander. It's hard to fathom how so many people don't even consider the taxes they're going to have or think that the initial tax taken initially is all they'll have to pay. A lot of us think five, ten million dollars (lump sum or annutity) is a lot of money and to 98% of us, it is. It's probably more than we'll ever see but you'll find out that it won’t last forever if you’re foolish with it. There's no such thing as an infinite amount of money, you're not the federal reserve, you can’t just print more money, which is isn’t a good thing either, but that’s another issue that’s really far off topic. Then of course, there's the excessive gambling....

                      Okay, I'm half rambling about another story I just read from just over a year ago about a 1995 Wisconsin winner (Andrew Cicero) of 5.5M that went broke and is or was suing blaming advisors from an investment firm. From the story they apparently invested nearly everything in stocks, just before the tech bubble burst, which as his lawyer said, was breathtakingly irresponsible. Of course Mr. Cicero also apparently thought it "smart" to sell what was left of his annuity without any consideration of the taxes he’d incur.

                      I know we’re all armchair quarterbacks since we haven’t been in this situation, but I’d like to think most of us have learned from these stories as to what NOT to do...

                       

                       

                      Rant

                      I rather lose it my way. 

                        Avatar
                        NY
                        United States
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                        October 16, 2005
                        3471 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: April 28, 2008, 2:05 pm - IP Logged

                        Do ya think the gov't is trying to get a lot here in taxes

                        sold the annuity to Singer Asset and Finance for two lump sums, $1.59 million to Alex Toth and $1.49 million to Rhoda Toth.

                        In total, the agreement states, Rhoda Toth owes the government $1.1 million and her husband owed $1.4 million

                         

                        You better watch out you better not cry the tax man is coming to town.

                        They owe that much because they sold the annuity about 8 years ago. The 1.6 million would have resulted in about 600k in federal taxes, if they had been paid when they were due. Filing a false return means significant penalties are added to the original amount, and then you owe interest until the obligation is paid.

                          jackpotismine's avatar - kanji for_peace.jpg
                          Kunming
                          China
                          Member #57910
                          January 23, 2008
                          3626 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: April 28, 2008, 2:41 pm - IP Logged

                          Of course you can't completely trust your advisors either, I mean you can't just let them have free reign over your assets while you "retire" and don't have a hand in the managing of things to see where all the money is going, you need to take an active role and be the one who makes the real, final decisions with YOUR money, that's why they're advisors not partners you’re supposed to listen to their advise and come up with a decision which should be done after doing your own research, not just blindly follow what they say, same goes for anyone else that is working for you to manage your assets. Even with good intentions these people aren't infallible and just because it's their job it doesn’t mean they’re not immune to stupidity and you never go all, half or even a quarter in into a single, potentially risky investment no matter how much of a “sure thing” it might be.

                          You have to educate yourself to the point where you can get a good handle on things and not be completely clueless as to what's going on, you need to be constantly learning. That's what a lot of these people don’t seem to do. They think for some reason they could get away with not paying Uncle Sam his share to squander. It's hard to fathom how so many people don't even consider the taxes they're going to have or think that the initial tax taken initially is all they'll have to pay. A lot of us think five, ten million dollars (lump sum or annutity) is a lot of money and to 98% of us, it is. It's probably more than we'll ever see but you'll find out that it won’t last forever if you’re foolish with it. There's no such thing as an infinite amount of money, you're not the federal reserve, you can’t just print more money, which is isn’t a good thing either, but that’s another issue that’s really far off topic. Then of course, there's the excessive gambling....

                          Okay, I'm half rambling about another story I just read from just over a year ago about a 1995 Wisconsin winner (Andrew Cicero) of 5.5M that went broke and is or was suing blaming advisors from an investment firm. From the story they apparently invested nearly everything in stocks, just before the tech bubble burst, which as his lawyer said, was breathtakingly irresponsible. Of course Mr. Cicero also apparently thought it "smart" to sell what was left of his annuity without any consideration of the taxes he’d incur.

                          I know we’re all armchair quarterbacks since we haven’t been in this situation, but I’d like to think most of us have learned from these stories as to what NOT to do...

                           

                           

                          Rant

                          VERY WELL SAID!!I Agree!

                          Play to win!

                            MillionsWanted's avatar - 24Qa6LT

                            Norway
                            Member #9517
                            December 10, 2004
                            1271 Posts
                            Online
                            Posted: April 29, 2008, 6:27 am - IP Logged

                            A tragic end to a tragic lottery winners life.