Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 3, 2016, 5:30 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Florida sheriff fears lottery winner murdered

Florida LotteryFlorida Lottery: Florida sheriff fears lottery winner murdered
51
Rating:

A truck driver's assistant who won $16.9 million in the Florida lottery in 2006 is feared dead after not being seen by friends or relatives since April.  Abraham Lee Shakespeare, 43, was reported missing by a police informant in November.

"There are a lot of odd and bizarre circumstances in this case," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. "We fear and are preparing for the worst. We're working this case as if it were a homicide."

Donna Wood, public information officer for the Polk County Sheriff's Office, said authorities are particularly concerned about Shakespeare since he did not contact relatives during the holiday season.

"No one has been able to confirm his well-being," Wood told FoxNews.com. "We continue to be quite concerned."

Wood declined to discuss information pertaining to when Shakespeare last spent any of the millions he won three years ago. A $5,000 cash reward continues to be offered for information on his whereabouts.

Elizabeth Walker, Shakespeare's mother, said she hopes her son — a tall, slender man who wears his hair in dreadlocks — is somewhere in the Caribbean, soaking up the sun on white sandy beaches and away from the hangers-on who were consistently asking him for money.

"I feel like running away somewhere," Walker told FoxNews.com. "I don't know what happened to my son but I can hardly concentrate on anything else."

Walker, 68, said she expected to hear from Shakespeare during the holidays. Now, she wishes her son had never struck it rich.

"I'm so sick and confused over not knowing where Abraham is," Walker continued. "It was just yesterday I was thinking to myself that I would've rather him worked on the garbage truck that came by Monday."

Shakespeare won a $30 million jackpot but chose to receive a lump-sum payment of $16.9 million instead of a million dollars a year for 30 years. He bought a Nissan Altima, a Rolex watch and a $1 million home in a gated community — and he spoke about establishing a foundation for the poor.

"I'm not a material person," Shakespeare said in 2007. "I don't let material things run me. I'm on a tight budget."

But the financial windfall quickly caused problems for Shakespeare. He was sued in 2007 by a co-worker who claimed he had given money toward the winning ticket. A jury later ruled that the ticket was purchased solely by Shakespeare.

"I liked Abraham," attorney Jim Valenti, who represented Shakespeare in the lawsuit, told FoxNews.com. "I thought he had a lot of guts, he could've settled that suit for just a fraction of what the guy was asking for."

Instead, Valenti said, Shakespeare insisted he owed no one.

"He was absolutely right," Valenti said. "He stuck to what he believed in and won."

Valenti described Shakespeare as a friendly man despite his criminal record, which includes multiple arrests and prison time for burglary, battery and not paying child support. But he said Shakespeare frequently traveled with a large entourage.

"He was very generous from what I could tell, but he was surrounded by some folks who did not have his best interest at heart," he said. "When Abraham understood something, he made good choices in what direction to go. But I think a lot of people were whispering in his ear and I think he was taken advantage of."

Valenti said he last spoke to Shakespeare two years ago and is not surprised that he hasn't been seen lately.

"He seemed to be kind of a private person and didn't want people to know what was going on," he said. "He wasn't a talker, he wasn't loquacious."

He said Shakespeare appeared to be someone who could protect himself if necessary.

"If you met Abraham out at a Publix or whatever, you would think he was someone to take seriously," he said. "He was not threatening, but you'd want to take him seriously."

Shakespeare's mother could not be reached for comment on Wednesday, but she has said that people constantly asked her son for money after he won the jackpot.

"They didn't wait," she said. "They just came right after they found out he won this money."

Walker said her son paid for funerals, lent money to friends starting businesses and even gave a million dollars to a person known only as "Big Man."

Shortly after buying his home in early 2007, Shakespeare was approached by a woman named Dee Dee Moore, who said she was interested in writing a book about him and began serving as his financial adviser of sorts, according to relatives and officials.

Property records indicate that Moore's company, American Medical Professional, bought the home for $655,000 last January. Walker said she saw her son for the last time shortly afterward.

According to The Ledger of Lakeland, Fla., Moore, 37, contacted reporters at the paper in April and said Shakespeare was "laying low" because people had tried to pilfer money from him. Then, on Dec. 5, Moore told the newspaper she helped Shakespeare disappear, but now wanted him to return since detectives had been searching her home and car looking for evidence.

Judd told Fox News on Wednesday that Moore, who could not be reached for comment, is a "person of interest" in the case.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Fox 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.

26 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by myturn.
Page 1 of 2
Avatar
Long Island, NY
United States
Member #70172
January 25, 2009
521 Posts
Offline
Posted: January 6, 2010, 5:41 pm - IP Logged

A truck driver's assistant who won $16.9 million in the Florida lottery in 2006 is feared dead after not being seen by friends or relatives since April.  Abraham Lee Shakespeare, 43, was reported missing by a police informant in November.

"There are a lot of odd and bizarre circumstances in this case," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. "We fear and are preparing for the worst. We're working this case as if it were a homicide."

Donna Wood, public information officer for the Polk County Sheriff's Office, said authorities are particularly concerned about Shakespeare since he did not contact relatives during the holiday season.

"No one has been able to confirm his well-being," Wood told FoxNews.com. "We continue to be quite concerned."

Wood declined to discuss information pertaining to when Shakespeare last spent any of the millions he won three years ago. A $5,000 cash reward continues to be offered for information on his whereabouts.

Elizabeth Walker, Shakespeare's mother, said she hopes her son — a tall, slender man who wears his hair in dreadlocks — is somewhere in the Caribbean, soaking up the sun on white sandy beaches and away from the hangers-on who were consistently asking him for money.

"I feel like running away somewhere," Walker told FoxNews.com. "I don't know what happened to my son but I can hardly concentrate on anything else."

Walker, 68, said she expected to hear from Shakespeare during the holidays. Now, she wishes her son had never struck it rich.

"I'm so sick and confused over not knowing where Abraham is," Walker continued. "It was just yesterday I was thinking to myself that I would've rather him worked on the garbage truck that came by Monday."

Shakespeare won a $30 million jackpot but chose to receive a lump-sum payment of $16.9 million instead of a million dollars a year for 30 years. He bought a Nissan Altima, a Rolex watch and a $1 million home in a gated community — and he spoke about establishing a foundation for the poor.

"I'm not a material person," Shakespeare said in 2007. "I don't let material things run me. I'm on a tight budget."

But the financial windfall quickly caused problems for Shakespeare. He was sued in 2007 by a co-worker who claimed he had given money toward the winning ticket. A jury later ruled that the ticket was purchased solely by Shakespeare.

"I liked Abraham," attorney Jim Valenti, who represented Shakespeare in the lawsuit, told FoxNews.com. "I thought he had a lot of guts, he could've settled that suit for just a fraction of what the guy was asking for."

Instead, Valenti said, Shakespeare insisted he owed no one.

"He was absolutely right," Valenti said. "He stuck to what he believed in and won."

Valenti described Shakespeare as a friendly man despite his criminal record, which includes multiple arrests and prison time for burglary, battery and not paying child support. But he said Shakespeare frequently traveled with a large entourage.

"He was very generous from what I could tell, but he was surrounded by some folks who did not have his best interest at heart," he said. "When Abraham understood something, he made good choices in what direction to go. But I think a lot of people were whispering in his ear and I think he was taken advantage of."

Valenti said he last spoke to Shakespeare two years ago and is not surprised that he hasn't been seen lately.

"He seemed to be kind of a private person and didn't want people to know what was going on," he said. "He wasn't a talker, he wasn't loquacious."

He said Shakespeare appeared to be someone who could protect himself if necessary.

"If you met Abraham out at a Publix or whatever, you would think he was someone to take seriously," he said. "He was not threatening, but you'd want to take him seriously."

Shakespeare's mother could not be reached for comment on Wednesday, but she has said that people constantly asked her son for money after he won the jackpot.

"They didn't wait," she said. "They just came right after they found out he won this money."

Walker said her son paid for funerals, lent money to friends starting businesses and even gave a million dollars to a person known only as "Big Man."

Shortly after buying his home in early 2007, Shakespeare was approached by a woman named Dee Dee Moore, who said she was interested in writing a book about him and began serving as his financial adviser of sorts, according to relatives and officials.

Property records indicate that Moore's company, American Medical Professional, bought the home for $655,000 last January. Walker said she saw her son for the last time shortly afterward.

According to The Ledger of Lakeland, Fla., Moore, 37, contacted reporters at the paper in April and said Shakespeare was "laying low" because people had tried to pilfer money from him. Then, on Dec. 5, Moore told the newspaper she helped Shakespeare disappear, but now wanted him to return since detectives had been searching her home and car looking for evidence.

Judd told Fox News on Wednesday that Moore, who could not be reached for comment, is a "person of interest" in the case.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

This is part of the problem with not letting people claim their prizes without holding up a dumb check and answering dumb questions.

    LadyMylena's avatar - avatar6 1.jpg
    Kansas
    United States
    Member #83963
    December 19, 2009
    347 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: January 6, 2010, 6:17 pm - IP Logged

    This is part of the problem with not letting people claim their prizes without holding up a dumb check and answering dumb questions.

    I agree with you, and I thank my lucky stars that whenever I do win, I won't have to do that, here. It seems that it caused a whole WORLD of problems for him. If he could've been anonymous, things may not have turned out this way.

    I realize the lotteries love a publicity stunt, but they really don't need it. I think they will sell PLENTY of tickets, regardless of whether every single person goes public. Some people will, some love the attention. NOT ME! I can just imagine the people that would be after me, begging me for money. People that I've worked very hard to distance myself from.

    Unless you really want that kind of thing, I think it's bad news.

    Luck is  ** believing  ** you're lucky.” ~Tennessee Williams

    Money is neither my god nor my devil. It is a form of energy that tends to make us more of who we already are, whether it's greedy or loving.  ~ Dan Millman


      Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
      Clarksville
      United States
      Member #487
      July 15, 2002
      17638 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: January 6, 2010, 6:30 pm - IP Logged

      This is one reason why all winners should be allowed to be anonymous. In this day and age, and the relative attitude of some people, it is better to be unknown.

      Find the body.

      If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

      You never know when you will get another hit.

        Avatar

        United States
        Member #73512
        April 16, 2009
        106 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: January 6, 2010, 7:12 pm - IP Logged

        This is one reason why all winners should be allowed to be anonymous. In this day and age, and the relative attitude of some people, it is better to be unknown.

        Find the body.

        Yup, this is the kind of thing that makes me never win that much money.  I think the safety of the participants should be more important than publicity.  Too many greedy, crazy people out there to take the chance getting your name out there. 

        My ideal win would be a few hundred thousand.  A lot of money, but not enough to get you famous. 

        I hope the guy's okay.

          dphillips's avatar - littleuns
          Albuquerque, New Mexico
          United States
          Member #5128
          June 18, 2004
          377 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: January 6, 2010, 7:43 pm - IP Logged

          Perhaps, Florida did not require a photo opportunity; he just wanted to do one. If so, he should have been much wiser by not doing one. In New Mexico, a photo and a press conference are not required, but your name, amount, and your residence are public record. Did he ever consider?

          1) a blind trust (if it were possible in his state). That would have kept the wolves from his door.

          2) telling his gawkers/smoochers to contact his attorney, and at the same time, giving out cards to them so they could contact his attorney for money. We know they would not do it. Maybe, this would have given him some time to clear his mind and make wise decisions, e.g., head for the hills.

          3) changing his telephone number to an unlisted one.

          4) relocating, if possible, to an undisclosed location.

          5) not paying for other peoples' funerals: he was not under any obligation to do so. Once he paid for one, expectations in the community went sky high.

          6) giving out his money to whomever claimeth it: they were not his family, anyway.

          Finally, I hope he is just chillin' and taking care of business and there is no foul play. Even so, if he is at a undisclosed location, he should not tell his family...who is to say they can be trusted!

          See Ya!-- Bye, bye!  When you win, may you glow as brightly as theSun Smiley

            rdgrnr's avatar - walt
            Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
            United States
            Member #73904
            April 28, 2009
            14903 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: January 6, 2010, 9:58 pm - IP Logged

            I'd bet that guy he gave a million dollars too - Big Man, knows where he is, the same as Dee Dee Moore.

            I'd also bet that more people connected to this case are going to disappear.


                                                         
                                 
                                                     

             

             

             

             

                                                                                                               

            "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                        --Edmund Burke

             

             

              Avatar

              United States
              Member #67052
              November 15, 2008
              80 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: January 6, 2010, 10:23 pm - IP Logged

              This is another illustration of why people should not go public after winning a large amount of money.  Unfortunatedly not all states will allow you to do this.  They care more about publicity than your life.  I wonder what kind of relationship he had with his mother.  If it was a good relationship he most likely would let her know he was okay so she woudln't worry.

               

              Article said he had a large entourage.  House he paid one million for sold to lady at 6xx,000, (strange).  I fear the worst, I'd love to be wrong.

              Even Jack Whitaker, ran a successful business for years.  After winning the lottery, he had numerous lawsuits about his construction work and a small percentage if any of problems with his construction work prior to his winning lottery.

              There are vulchars out there.  Fortunatedly they don't outnumber the angels.

                ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
                Idaho
                United States
                Member #56506
                November 21, 2007
                6537 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: January 7, 2010, 12:22 am - IP Logged

                So sad. No Nod I want to believe that the guy is ok and nothing bad has happened to him, but it sure looks like something horrible may have happened to him. I hope the family is able to locate him, so they can have some peace of mind.

                "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

                  Avatar
                  New Jersey
                  United States
                  Member #21206
                  September 4, 2005
                  949 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: January 7, 2010, 1:37 am - IP Logged

                  So sad. No Nod I want to believe that the guy is ok and nothing bad has happened to him, but it sure looks like something horrible may have happened to him. I hope the family is able to locate him, so they can have some peace of mind.

                  I hope he just left town to get away from it all for a while.

                    Nino224's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg
                    Miami
                    United States
                    Member #62793
                    July 9, 2008
                    673 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: January 7, 2010, 2:39 am - IP Logged

                    An entourage, some character named Big Man, and an writer/advisor who buys a house with your money right before you disappear?? That guy's a goner. My guess is Big Man and Dee Dee weren't satisfied with what he gave them and wanted more. I wonder who's going to pay for his funeral. My condolences to the grieving mother.

                    So the question is, besides not telling anyone, how do you protect yourself after you've won?

                    What exactly does a blind trust do for you?

                    "...a chance to push everything aside, the circumstances that've controlled our lives, and do it our way now. Good, bad or otherwise. You'll maybe get lost in it, tied up in it a little bit, but if you work your way through that the real you shows up, I think. Maybe what's at your core deep down, maybe that comes out. Maybe that's what it's about." Mike Pace 

                      justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                      Wandering Aimlessly
                      United States
                      Member #25360
                      November 5, 2005
                      4461 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: January 7, 2010, 4:03 am - IP Logged

                      Florida does not allow you to collect with a blind trust.  Even if you claim the winnings with a trust, your name will appear in the press release.   Still, once you collect your money, it's not very hard to disappear.   With that kind of money you can pack up and hide in the Caymans. 

                      I read stories like this once in a while, but the majority of big winners go on to enjoy their money and we never hear about them again.  I think the lottery misery stories just get a lot more attention.

                        rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg
                        Texas
                        United States
                        Member #55889
                        October 23, 2007
                        5588 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: January 7, 2010, 7:41 am - IP Logged

                        More than the publicity, if he is dead, it's because of the parasites he chose to hang out with.

                        CAN'T WIN IF YOU'RE NOT IN

                        A DOLLAR AND A DREAM (OR $2)

                          dpoly1's avatar - driver
                          PA
                          United States
                          Member #66141
                          October 16, 2008
                          1672 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: January 7, 2010, 6:32 pm - IP Logged

                          This makes the case for anonymous lottery claims !!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            time*treat's avatar - radar

                            United States
                            Member #13130
                            March 30, 2005
                            2171 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: January 8, 2010, 1:30 am - IP Logged

                            (Bad) His relatives had not seen him since April.

                            (REALLY BAD) He was reported "missing" in November ... by a police informant.

                            In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
                            Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.