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Tennessee Powerball lottery winners sued by inmate

PowerballPowerball: Tennessee Powerball lottery winners sued by inmate
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Maybe all those TV appearances weren't such a great idea

As the Powerball jackpot topped $1 billion, the frenzy grew. It was fun to dream, even if you knew you stood little chance. But often, a winner faces suits by friends, co-workers, even family. Sadly, it has now happened to the winning Robinson family of Munford, Tennessee. Jonathan Lee Riches, also known as Jihadi Schitz, has sued the Multistate Lottery Commission, Powerball and the Robinson family. The suit attempts to halt the payout of their third of the $1.6 billion win, or to recoup Mr. Riches' alleged one-half of the loot.

The lawsuit is homespun and handwritten, hardly legible, much less drafted in the language of lawyers. But the suit is evidently meant to be serious, laying claim to half the winnings. Mr. Riches is the real winner, the home-made lawsuit claims. It goes on to allege that Mr. Riches was incarcerated in a penitentiary for the last several years, during which time Mr. Riches claims he was in frequent written contact with Ms. Tiffany Robinson, the daughter of the putative winners. Mr. Riches claims to have sent Tiffany $20 from his prison trust fund, urging her to give the money to her parents to buy lottery tickets, which the suit alleges they otherwise could not afford.

Mr. Riches goes on to allege that Tiffany was going to "murry him," and that if they won the lottery, they would leave America to live on a remote island full of milk and honey. He is bitter that she and her parents are spending money Mr. Riches claims is half his. His complaint says he is a Muslim and that Tiffany was going to be his Muslim wife.

John and Lisa Robinson and their daughter Tiffany recently appeared on the Today show, noting some plans for the money. They are celebrities in Munford, a town of 6,000 north of Memphis. They want to help friends, give to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, and donate to their church. Tiffany mentioned paying off student loans and has always wanted a horse.

Mr. Robinson has said he bought the winning ticket at his wife's request. He bought four quick-pick tickets, one for each family member, then gave them to his wife and went to lie down when he got home. She stayed up to watch the Wednesday night drawing, carefully writing down the numbers. The Robinson family is entitled to roughly $533 million if they collect 30 years of payments, or roughly $327 million in a lump sum. The Robinsons' son, Adam, is an electrician, less in the limelight than Tiffany.

But with happiness, can come legal claims and stress, on top of taxes. For remember, lottery winnings are taxed. The IRS takes taxes up to the top 39.6% rate. Yet the tax withholding rate on lottery winnings is only 25%. Some lottery winners can have trouble paying their taxes when they file. Most states will take a nice chunk of the money too.

The taxes on winning tickets are not the only downside. Apart from paying the taxman, what if friends, family or co-workers claim a share of the loot? It happens more often than you might think, often based on an alleged oral agreement. An innocent remark about splitting the winnings might be misinterpreted. Then, you must add the inevitable lawyers' fees for defending against the claims.

Most such cases settle, yet taxes can hit on such legal settlements in surprising ways too. The jackpots do not need to be in the hundreds of millions for winners to be targets. Take the 53-year-old California woman who won $1 million, but faced a lawsuit by the liquor store owner who sold her the winning ticket. Eva Reyes was a winner, but the owner of the liquor Store where she bought the ticket sued her.

The store owner claimed that Ms. Reyes promised to split the money — $350,000 each after taxes — for fronting the money to buy the tickets. Even if you win a lawsuit, you may have to pay the IRS, even on your attorneys' fees paid directly to your lawyer. When people talk of paying tax on money they never see — like money paid to a contingent fee lawyer from a case — it is usually because of the Alternative Minimum Tax.

Not every lottery case involves co-workers or friends. Sometimes the disputes are with family members, which can be even worse. In Dickerson v. Commissioner, an Alabama Waffle House waitress won a $10 million lottery jackpot on a ticket given to her by a customer. The trouble started when she tried to benefit her family and spread the wealth. The Tax Court held she was liable for gift tax when she transferred the winning ticket to a family company of which she owned 49%.

Tax advice before the plan might have avoided the extra tax dollars. Perhaps she shouldn't have assigned her claim in a waffle house. Time and again, winners have trouble paying their taxes and resolving disputes. And sadly, winners are targets for lawsuits. But cheer up, the odds of winning are daunting.

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

Forbes, Lottery Post Staff

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43 comments. Last comment 10 months ago by Drenick1.
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jarasan's avatar - new patrick.gif
Harbinger
D.C./MD.
United States
Member #44103
July 30, 2006
5583 Posts
Online
Posted: February 3, 2016, 8:44 am - IP Logged

HAHAHAHA!

    savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
    adelaide sa
    Australia
    Member #37136
    April 11, 2006
    3300 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: February 3, 2016, 8:46 am - IP Logged

    I Agree!

    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

      Avatar

      United States
      Member #167585
      July 21, 2015
      55 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: February 3, 2016, 8:55 am - IP Logged

      This is great.

        music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
        Happy California
        United States
        Member #157856
        August 2, 2014
        1511 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: February 3, 2016, 9:02 am - IP Logged

         Imagine the amount of mail they are getting. Professional beggars who make their money from generous winners will not take NO for an answer.

         Good Luck with the phone calls. Change your number and it still could be made public.

         The other two winners are learning from the Robinson's mistakes. 

         Here in California, I will only be required to give my name. The city where the ticket is purchased will be public information.

         No grip and grin photo. No press interview. 

         I will give the press a written statement. It will only include my name and information about Todd Northrop's websites, www.lotterypost.com and www.usamega.com.  Plus my handle, music*

          I will be in contact with the Fresno Lottery District Office until I cash in.

        See Ya!

         I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

         Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

          Avatar
          Alpharetta, GA
          United States
          Member #169547
          October 23, 2015
          123 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: February 3, 2016, 9:26 am - IP Logged

          A perfect example of why winners should skip the media blitz.   You can't even imagine half of the schemes liars crooks and beggars will target you with.

            pickone4me's avatar - 021414tvlies zpsa453b327.jpg
            Wisconsin
            United States
            Member #104962
            January 23, 2011
            1075 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: February 3, 2016, 9:44 am - IP Logged

            I had some gas station employee ask for money  when I bought my last powerball lottery ticket during the big frenzy.  I knew better to not spout off and agree to it.

            Trump 2016!


              United States
              Member #106134
              February 13, 2011
              806 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: February 3, 2016, 9:53 am - IP Logged

              LOL and they are still enjoying being more popular than Kim Kardashian or Justin Bieber.  More TV appearances, magazine covers, etc

                haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
                United States
                Member #112968
                June 29, 2011
                3854 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: February 3, 2016, 10:00 am - IP Logged

                These inmates need to be doing hard labor so they're to tired and have no time to come up with this nonsense.

                 

                As for the winners, they might now be rethinking their decision to become celebrities.

                 

                 

                @music*

                "no grip and grin photo"  LOL ! I like that !

                Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

                  cbr$'s avatar - maren
                  Cordova,Al.
                  United States
                  Member #104482
                  January 15, 2011
                  4873 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: February 3, 2016, 10:15 am - IP Logged

                  Maybe all those TV appearances weren't such a great idea

                  As the Powerball jackpot topped $1 billion, the frenzy grew. It was fun to dream, even if you knew you stood little chance. But often, a winner faces suits by friends, co-workers, even family. Sadly, it has now happened to the winning Robinson family of Munford, Tennessee. Jonathan Lee Riches, also known as Jihadi Schitz, has sued the Multistate Lottery Commission, Powerball and the Robinson family. The suit attempts to halt the payout of their third of the $1.6 billion win, or to recoup Mr. Riches' alleged one-half of the loot.

                  The lawsuit is homespun and handwritten, hardly legible, much less drafted in the language of lawyers. But the suit is evidently meant to be serious, laying claim to half the winnings. Mr. Riches is the real winner, the home-made lawsuit claims. It goes on to allege that Mr. Riches was incarcerated in a penitentiary for the last several years, during which time Mr. Riches claims he was in frequent written contact with Ms. Tiffany Robinson, the daughter of the putative winners. Mr. Riches claims to have sent Tiffany $20 from his prison trust fund, urging her to give the money to her parents to buy lottery tickets, which the suit alleges they otherwise could not afford.

                  Mr. Riches goes on to allege that Tiffany was going to "murry him," and that if they won the lottery, they would leave America to live on a remote island full of milk and honey. He is bitter that she and her parents are spending money Mr. Riches claims is half his. His complaint says he is a Muslim and that Tiffany was going to be his Muslim wife.

                  John and Lisa Robinson and their daughter Tiffany recently appeared on the Today show, noting some plans for the money. They are celebrities in Munford, a town of 6,000 north of Memphis. They want to help friends, give to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, and donate to their church. Tiffany mentioned paying off student loans and has always wanted a horse.

                  Mr. Robinson has said he bought the winning ticket at his wife's request. He bought four quick-pick tickets, one for each family member, then gave them to his wife and went to lie down when he got home. She stayed up to watch the Wednesday night drawing, carefully writing down the numbers. The Robinson family is entitled to roughly $533 million if they collect 30 years of payments, or roughly $327 million in a lump sum. The Robinsons' son, Adam, is an electrician, less in the limelight than Tiffany.

                  But with happiness, can come legal claims and stress, on top of taxes. For remember, lottery winnings are taxed. The IRS takes taxes up to the top 39.6% rate. Yet the tax withholding rate on lottery winnings is only 25%. Some lottery winners can have trouble paying their taxes when they file. Most states will take a nice chunk of the money too.

                  The taxes on winning tickets are not the only downside. Apart from paying the taxman, what if friends, family or co-workers claim a share of the loot? It happens more often than you might think, often based on an alleged oral agreement. An innocent remark about splitting the winnings might be misinterpreted. Then, you must add the inevitable lawyers' fees for defending against the claims.

                  Most such cases settle, yet taxes can hit on such legal settlements in surprising ways too. The jackpots do not need to be in the hundreds of millions for winners to be targets. Take the 53-year-old California woman who won $1 million, but faced a lawsuit by the liquor store owner who sold her the winning ticket. Eva Reyes was a winner, but the owner of the liquor Store where she bought the ticket sued her.

                  The store owner claimed that Ms. Reyes promised to split the money — $350,000 each after taxes — for fronting the money to buy the tickets. Even if you win a lawsuit, you may have to pay the IRS, even on your attorneys' fees paid directly to your lawyer. When people talk of paying tax on money they never see — like money paid to a contingent fee lawyer from a case — it is usually because of the Alternative Minimum Tax.

                  Not every lottery case involves co-workers or friends. Sometimes the disputes are with family members, which can be even worse. In Dickerson v. Commissioner, an Alabama Waffle House waitress won a $10 million lottery jackpot on a ticket given to her by a customer. The trouble started when she tried to benefit her family and spread the wealth. The Tax Court held she was liable for gift tax when she transferred the winning ticket to a family company of which she owned 49%.

                  Tax advice before the plan might have avoided the extra tax dollars. Perhaps she shouldn't have assigned her claim in a waffle house. Time and again, winners have trouble paying their taxes and resolving disputes. And sadly, winners are targets for lawsuits. But cheer up, the odds of winning are daunting.

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

                  This shouldn't hold water in court. It has been repeated more then one time that Mr. Robinson stop & get the tickets at his wife's require. {1st. Question. Where is this inmate $20.00 in this picture/better yet why is not mention at all Tiffany Robinson put any money toward the purchase of the tickets? Next question, only 1 ticket win the jackpot.Mr Robinson said he purchase 4 tickets one for each family member. Frankly that means 3 of tickets are loser. Meaning the real winner, is share some of it with the losers. The inmate could write to Tiffany Robinson until the cows come home, her ticket don't win. If she had been the winner  she would been the one getting the lawyer and talking on the shows. They're saying Tiffany want to pay off student loans. That mean she old enough to purchase her own ticket & her boyfriends as well. Final question. The inmate stated that he send the money because the Robinson family couldn't afford them. Let see if this story holds water or if we can deflate this issue right here. Four tickets with the power ball option $12. Husband works in a warehouse  supervisor. Wife works in a doctor office. The inmate want to claim his allege share by using his so call relationship with Tiffany. He could married Tiffany all he want, but she is not the winner. Tiffany & her brother are both get what ever they are got only because their parent love them & wanted to be nice to them by including them. Last but not less, Tiffany is mention for school loans , not ones was it mention she had a JOB. They mention that their son had one, not her.  There for 0 from 0 = zero!

                    Drenick1's avatar - villiarna
                    USA
                    United States
                    Member #152799
                    February 25, 2014
                    1090 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: February 3, 2016, 10:48 am - IP Logged

                    This criminal has entirely too much free time. I guess after one of his many daily praying rituals Mohamed must have instructed him an alternative to get rich quick.

                      HoLeeKau's avatar - YheaShea
                      Idaho
                      United States
                      Member #94283
                      July 17, 2010
                      2284 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: February 3, 2016, 11:03 am - IP Logged

                      Jonathan Lee Riches is a former federal prisoner (inmate #40948-018)[1] known for the many lawsuits he has filed in various United States district courts.[2] Riches was incarcerated at Federal Medical Center, Lexington, Kentucky, for wire fraud under the terms of a plea bargain. His release date was April 30, 2012.[3] He was arrested for violating his federal probation in December 2012, when he left the Eastern District of the state of Pennsylvania without permission. He allegedly drove to Connecticut and impersonated the uncle of Adam Lanza, the shooter in the Sandy Hook Elementary School incident.[4]

                       

                      Wiki

                        ErikB14's avatar - Lottery-049.jpg
                        New Member
                        Clifton NJ
                        United States
                        Member #164641
                        March 9, 2015
                        14 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: February 3, 2016, 11:46 am - IP Logged

                        No wonder why the Robbinson Families in such a 

                        rush to be on National Television,before even stopping 

                        at the Lottery headquarter to claim their prize.

                          mypiemaster's avatar - 2015021003pileofcash
                          JACKPOT HUNTER

                          United States
                          Member #141034
                          April 2, 2013
                          1408 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: February 3, 2016, 12:17 pm - IP Logged

                          Jihadi Schitz obviously has been spending way too much time in the toilet and is probably having a crappy time in jail. Somebody get this inmate a shrink please. What a waste of tax payers money.

                          Seek and ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

                          Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

                            OneTrickpony's avatar - thought

                            United States
                            Member #167657
                            July 25, 2015
                            70 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: February 3, 2016, 2:46 pm - IP Logged

                            I think this nitwit smacked his head on his cement floor prayer mat too many times. This is why I advocate for claiming a prize anonymously and it should be an option is EVERY SINGLE STATE.  Or at least claim a prize as a Trust with layers of LLC's.  These nut jobs may still find you, but it will take some doing and they are bound to trip up and break a privacy law here and there.  That's when you get the law involved.  I hate to say it but the Robinsons left themselves wide open when they listened to their ding-dong attorney and went public like they did.  Live and learn I guess.