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Asset managers accused of fronting for real $254M Powerball winner

PowerballPowerball: Asset managers accused of fronting for real $254M Powerball winner
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For three men who had apparently just won $254 million they looked far from ecstatic.

And last night the three wealthy bankers who came forward to claim a record Powerball jackpot were facing claims that they were not in fact the real winners.

An anonymous man — one of their clients — is said to have actually purchased the ticket but came to the trio to avoid the 'hassle' of his name becoming public.

They then allegedly set up a trust 'as a front' so that Tim Davidson, Brandon Lacoff, and Greg Skidmore could be the public face of the win.

In a further twist, it was also claimed that rather than donate a large proportion of the money to charity, the winner has requested that the majority just be invested for his personal gain.

The explosive claims blow apart the fairytale story that Davidson bought the ticket at a gas station in Greenwich Connecticut for $1.

It would also explain the bankers' sheepish performance at a press conference to collect their 'jackpot', during which they refused to discuss their relationship with each other.

It had been suggested that Davidson bought his ticket on November 1 and the following day they realised their numbers had come up, beating odds of 195,249,054 to one.

The jackpot was the largest ever won in Connecticut and the 12th biggest in Powerball history.

It means they will take the after-tax lump sum of nearly $104 million in cash between them.

Now, according to a family friend who has known Lacoff since he was a boy, the truth behind what happened is very different.

Tom Gladstone said that a client at investment company Belpointe LLC, which was founded by Lacoff and provides investment advice, much of it to wealthy individuals, was the real winner.

He, Davidson, and Skidmore then set up the Putnam Avenue Family Trust which will allow the man to keep out of the spotlight.

Gladstone, a real estate agent who rents Lacoff the Belpointe office space, said: "The person who really won it is anonymous.

"They set up the trust so that Brandon and his two partners could claim they won it and that the real winner wouldn't get hassled.

"They have said they are going to give it to charity but they are going to manage the money. They are going to make a donation but they keeping a large proportion of the money and they are going to manage it.

"The winner is a client of theirs and their clients are a mixture of larger and smaller investors. By Wall St standards they are not big players.

"They set up the trust as a front to ensure their client anonymity. It clearly took them some time to work it out as they won on November 1, realised the next day and have only now come forward.

"I saw Brandon last Friday and he didn't say a word to me. They are smart, rich Greenwich men."

Gladstone added that he had known Lacoff's father Marty, an anti-trust lawyer, for 30 years and that the family were 'hard working people'.

He said, "Brandon is a good kid, I don't know how else to describe him. Obviously the client is putting their faith in him to look after this very substantial amount."

According to the story which has been told so far, Davidson bought the $1 quick pick ticket for the November 2 drawing at the Shippan Point BP gas station in Stamford. It was the only ticket he bought.

During the press conference he and his two colleagues sat stoically at a conference table sipping bottled water as Jason Kurland, the group's attorney, answered questions but declined to address basic issues about the win.

Kurland said, "Obviously, everybody is extremely excited. These numbers are huge. This is going to benefit many people.

"From the first conversation I had with them, it was very philanthropic.Charities was definitely, probably No. 1 on their priority list."

As they were leaving the news conference, Skidmore stopped at the microphone to identify himself and his partners and said, '"And it feels good," before leaving the room.

The winning numbers were 12-14-34-39-46, Powerball 36.

Lottery officials had used billboards across the state to urge the ticket holder to come forward as the weeks went by without a winner.

Kurland said the group called him the day after the draw.

Kurland said, "They thought they were the winners, and then, that night, I think, one of the local TV stations had the numbers, and the Powerball number was wrong on the TV screen, so that put them into a little bit of a tizzy.

"But the news, to their credit, corrected it a few hours later, and they were confident they had it."

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Belpointe manages $82 million which makes it a boutique investment firm by the standards of many New York finance houses.

Lacoff was an accountant for Ernst & Young before founding an investment company known Belray capital, which became Belpointe LLC.

He "owns a number of properties and businesses throughout the region," according to the Belpointe website.

Skidmore, the company's president and chief investment officer, formerly worked as an investment banker for a subsidiary of AXA Financial Services and Citigroup.

He is a former member of the U.S. sailing team who was once an Olympic hopeful, according to the company's website.

He is also the grandson of Louis Skidmore, the notable American architect and founder of the firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, which created the Sears Tower in Chicago amongst other buildings.

Davidson started his career at a French bank where he worked in foreign exchange before moving on to advise companies, hedge funds and "ultra high worth" individuals.

When Lacoff's mansion was contacted in Greenwich, a woman answered the phone and said, "He's not in. He is not taking calls at the moment. Bye."

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80 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by haymaker.
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joshuacloak's avatar - Money Swim-uncle-scrooge-mcduck-35997717-677-518.jpg

United States
Member #32537
February 12, 2006
698 Posts
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Posted: November 29, 2011, 7:49 am - IP Logged

i even posted a thing in "many what if threads"  on lottery post about such a event , before it even happened

 the thread was don't trust lottery winner press conference ,

http://www.lotterypost.com/thread/236325/2218953

 

"funny thing, i  had my idea's on this one,     

 

like name my trust, mexican investments inc  trust, or whatever

hire some decent stand in, who lips are sealed"acter"

who is a mexican, ofc he be a husky guy wearing a  sombrero hat, giant sun glass's, and a fake santa bread. 

and do the press conference acting as if he sole winner

, where the lawyer telling media plz don't ask who the winner is, i let winner tell you hes story thro:

stand in comes on stand, hitting key story telling points.

 saying he wish's to keep hes identy a serect for him self and, due to where  hes extended family lives in mexico where kidnaping is high rate. and he don't want to put their lifes at risk

"media guilt to stay out of hes life" epic win!

and give them a  classic hes a mexican who mom came to american for american dream. to support her boy/ family,  and how he promise's to take care of all hes relatives back home in mexico and buy hes mom  ever thing she dreams of'

 

while me and my laywer 2 weeks later

am in hes office having a meeting about investments, we  are  Laughing our butts off about how easy it is to trick everyone.


ofc, i be moving into a new area where all the rich people live and hang out, , and no one wiser as am not a mexican.  and no one put new rich white guy+ lottery winner in same thinking at same time. 

all part of cover to not only hide  who i am form public, but to trick them so they never have a Clue

So i agree, don't trust lottery winner press conference,"

 

they just replaced my mexicon cover story, with wealth managers being the decoy role. genius none the less, the fact am seeing this play out in real life, when i dreamed of such trickery, rofl.

 

i was fooled for first 24 hours. not many more am not,!    i did find it bit odd, i blow it off they was just freinds that 1 ticket got spit 3 ways.

now with close friend claiming other wise, it does make sense.....

 

i was thinking why they take more then 2 weeks, losing bank interest, now i know, it was to make sure their real winner/cilent  was hidden, by trying to pulla  fast one over us

the fact is, the real winner is hidden in that trust, that trust could pay to a  2nd trust, where real winner is , we public  will Never know, long as they keep it hidden.

this is using trust the right way, they just added whole decoy  element to try to fool everyone. LOL 

 

they are wealth managers for rich people, now they have their richest cilent ever, they would glady do all this stuff,  you have a cilent thats 2x the net worth of all your old cilents, you will glady work your ass off . as what is taking place is their efforts to help winner never be know, take the fall them self's LOL

    Avatar
    New Jersey
    United States
    Member #77101
    July 13, 2009
    7805 Posts
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    Posted: November 29, 2011, 7:59 am - IP Logged

    What a hoot this one turned out to be - smart move by Mr. Anonymous.  So the Belpointe Group weren't the real winners - who cares - they now have over $100 million to manage for the real winner.  It is what it is folks - I say more power to themThumbs Up

    From Connecticut Lottery Website:

    Certain information regarding our winners is published and made available.  The Lottery will publish and upon request, make available a winner's name, city or town of residence, date and amount of win and the name/location of the retailer that sold the winning ticket.  A winner's home or street address and phone number are not published and will not be disclosed unless required by law.

    While most winners claim prizes using their individual names, periodically, winners do come forward using other legal entities (i.e., trusts, business partnership) to claim their prizes.  In those instances, the Lottery will promote the win using that legal entity's name.

    Publicizing that "real people" really win is important in maintaining the public's trust in our games. 

    Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping

      Slick Nick's avatar - Lottery-035.jpg
      Rochester
      United States
      Member #103282
      January 1, 2011
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      Posted: November 29, 2011, 8:04 am - IP Logged

      From the beginning I thought this was a fishy story about the winners, etc.. I found it odd that 3 people would buy just one ticket. Usually people buy a few tickets. With a bit of humor, their total investment would have been 33 1/3 cents apiece. I wonder how they made that 1 penny into thirds?   Dance

      Money is a terrible master, but a great servant...Smile

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        Orlando, FL
        United States
        Member #115785
        August 28, 2011
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        Posted: November 29, 2011, 8:08 am - IP Logged

        According to Good Morning America, a source close to one of the 3 men is saying that the 3 men are not the real winners and they are covering up for the real winner which IS ILLEGAL.

        This source also says that the winner has no intention of donating money to charity.

         

        Here's my opinion folks, It's the Lottery's fault. With such a huge amount of cash involved, anonymity is essential for safety and people wouldn't have to come up with such elaborate schemes to claim their prize.

          Kidzmom's avatar - cold
          NC
          United States
          Member #11741
          February 23, 2005
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          Posted: November 29, 2011, 8:11 am - IP Logged

          This is too funny....

          Be kind to a stranger because you never know when you are talking to an angel.Blue Angel

           

          KZM

            Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
            Chief Bottle Washer
            New Jersey
            United States
            Member #1
            May 31, 2000
            23262 Posts
            Online
            Posted: November 29, 2011, 8:12 am - IP Logged

            According to Good Morning America, a source close to one of the 3 men is saying that the 3 men are not the real winners and they are covering up for the real winner which IS ILLEGAL.

            This source also says that the winner has no intention of donating money to charity.

             

            Here's my opinion folks, It's the Lottery's fault. With such a huge amount of cash involved, anonymity is essential for safety and people wouldn't have to come up with such elaborate schemes to claim their prize.

            I don't think there's anything illegal about it whatsoever.  Maybe you could ellaborate on what law was broken?

            Whether or not someone decides to donate some of their money is their own personal choice.  It does not make a person "good" or "bad" to donate money (or not).  It is a voluntary act, as it should be.

             

            Check the State Lottery Report Card
            What grade did your lottery earn?

             

            Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
            Help eliminate computerized drawings!

              Avatar
              Orlando, FL
              United States
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              August 28, 2011
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              Posted: November 29, 2011, 8:14 am - IP Logged

              I don't think there's anything illegal about it whatsoever.  Maybe you could ellaborate on what law was broken?

              Whether or not someone decides to donate some of their money is their own personal choice.  It does not make a person "good" or "bad" to donate money (or not).  It is a voluntary act, as it should be.

              I did not say it was Illegal. I don't se how it is. BUT  GMA is reporting that is Illegal. I have GMA on now and if they repeat the story I'll pay closer attention as why it is illegal.

               

              Oh yeah, I agree with you, whether money is donated to charity or not is irrelevant. I'm just reporting what the GMA story said.

                Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                Chief Bottle Washer
                New Jersey
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                Posted: November 29, 2011, 8:19 am - IP Logged

                I did not say it was Illegal. I don't se how it is. BUT  GMA is reporting that is Illegal. I have GMA on now and if they repeat the story I'll pay closer attention as why it is illegal.

                 

                Oh yeah, I agree with you, whether money is donated to charity or not is irrelevant. I'm just reporting what the GMA story said.

                OK, I thought when you said "...they are covering up for the real winner which IS ILLEGAL" that you were saying it is illegal.

                I'm not sure what grounds GMA would have to say that claiming a jackpot for another person is illegal.  It's been done hundreds, maybe thousands, of times, in order to get around the lotteries' insistence that winners be made public.

                 

                Check the State Lottery Report Card
                What grade did your lottery earn?

                 

                Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                  GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
                  NY State
                  United States
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                  June 10, 2010
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                  Posted: November 29, 2011, 8:31 am - IP Logged

                  From the beginning I thought this was a fishy story about the winners, etc.. I found it odd that 3 people would buy just one ticket. Usually people buy a few tickets. With a bit of humor, their total investment would have been 33 1/3 cents apiece. I wonder how they made that 1 penny into thirds?   Dance

                  Yeah, it does sound kinda fishy that 3 guys split a $1.00 dollar QP. 

                  My question is; how did they decide amongst themselves which one of 'em wuz gonna have to pony up the extra penny? 

                  The whole thing is super-smart if ya ask me.  Merry Christmas now baby!

                  About playing the lottery --  You will lose more than you win. Until you hit a jackpot.  Then everything changes!

                    joshuacloak's avatar - Money Swim-uncle-scrooge-mcduck-35997717-677-518.jpg

                    United States
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                    February 12, 2006
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                    Posted: November 29, 2011, 8:32 am - IP Logged

                    GMA has no grounds.  todd is right.

                    am sure its classic,  assumption is mother of all f-ups

                    some dumb reporter,

                    the fact is trust, claimed, its Only winner to public face

                    the trust claimed, their was no law broken, lawyer acts as winner , claiming for trust, NO laws was ever broken.

                     

                    The Three Musketeers, showed up to fool us, as they are managing real winners money, they can be said in a legal way to be fall guys.

                     

                    the 3 wealth asset managers"The Three Musketeers"  , met real winner, who said,  i want you guys to handle my investments for me,  o btw, i also want my name kept hidden, they bring in their best lawyer pal to help out with trust paperwork.

                     

                    trusts are made, plans are setup, and almust 1 month later, here they are, showing up in a very large stretch limo , fooling everyone"for first few hours"

                    the fact is, once money in a trust, their many ways to send the money to other trusts, the lottery them self's don't have access to anything but frist trust

                    only irs knows who real winner is besides the layyer and assest manager. rofl.

                    these guys are handleing the money, todd is right also, when he says ,this trick has been done Many times before, its just now the lawyers,assest managers  are trying it.

                      they had me fooled first 24 hours. , so good for them ,   am happy someone tryed it out,

                    thro putting the decoy names out their, for close freinds to rat them out, is why, i had my decoy, also not want hes name out their" so no reporting could be done to uncover the fact hes my fall guy"

                      savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
                      adelaide sa
                      Australia
                      Member #37136
                      April 11, 2006
                      3300 Posts
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                      Posted: November 29, 2011, 8:51 am - IP Logged

                      Yeah, it does sound kinda fishy that 3 guys split a $1.00 dollar QP. 

                      My question is; how did they decide amongst themselves which one of 'em wuz gonna have to pony up the extra penny? 

                      The whole thing is super-smart if ya ask me.  Merry Christmas now baby!

                      hey that extra penny is now worth $1.04 million dollars.

                      2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016 JAN = -106; FEB= -81; MAR= -131; APR= - 87: MAY= -91; JUN= -39; JUL=-134; AUG= -124; SEP = -123; OCT= -84  NOV=- 73 TOT= -3498

                      keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= JAN=-32, FEB= +12 , MAR= -86, APR = -77. MAY= -48, JUN= -29, JUL=-71; AUG = -52; SEPT= -43; OCT = +56 NOV = -33 TOT= -3297

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                        Tampa, Florida
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                        September 18, 2011
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                        Posted: November 29, 2011, 8:56 am - IP Logged

                        Good for the real winner. Very smart.

                        It started from a dream....

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                          New Jersey
                          United States
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                          July 13, 2009
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                          Posted: November 29, 2011, 9:01 am - IP Logged

                          OK, I thought when you said "...they are covering up for the real winner which IS ILLEGAL" that you were saying it is illegal.

                          I'm not sure what grounds GMA would have to say that claiming a jackpot for another person is illegal.  It's been done hundreds, maybe thousands, of times, in order to get around the lotteries' insistence that winners be made public.

                          IMHO, GMA put that spin on the story to appeal to people who don't like to see a rich person win the lottery.  When I heard the word "illegal" I went straight to CT website and the answer was right there for all to see.  Nothing illegal about itNo No  I'm sure GMA has enough interns on staff who could have done the same thing.

                          Now if the winner had been that garbage man or the 21 year old kid who claimed they lost the ticket, I'm pretty sure GMA would have done a feel good story on how great it is to see a regular person win the lottery. 

                          Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping

                            Avatar
                            Monkey Butt, USA
                            United States
                            Member #54569
                            August 23, 2007
                            1124 Posts
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                            Posted: November 29, 2011, 9:26 am - IP Logged

                            Who gives a SH*T about who won or cashed in this fu*king ticket!!!!!

                            Fact: The DA*N ticket has finally been cashed in!!

                            Reality: Move on the the next drawing and move on with your lives.

                            I am so tired of the media making a big hoopla about this fricking ticket!!

                            Be honest, Do you REALLY care about who won?

                            I'm just thrilled that the ticket has been cashed and the jackpot won't be "rolled back into the system".

                            GOOD GRAVY, give it a rest.

                            If anything, start fraudulent claims charges against the knuckleheads that "claimed" to have lost the winning ticket. Turkey

                            Is there so little going on in this pathetic world that the media have to run stories like this?

                            After all, as stated in previous posts, thousands of people have used a hired mouth piece or dummy front to cash in jackpot tickets.

                            Sometimes the American media makes me wonder about how brain damaged they really are.Chair