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Massachusetts man sues 2 women, claiming they cheated him out of $4 million lottery prize

Jan 25, 2020, 2:24 pm

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Massachusetts LotteryMassachusetts Lottery: Massachusetts man sues 2 women, claiming they cheated him out of $4 million lottery prizeRating:

A Massachusetts man says two women cheated him out of $4 million in lottery winnings by taking advantage of his inability to read or speak English.

The man, Joao Luis DaPonte, said in a civil complaint filed earlier this month in Bristol Superior Court that when he initially scratched the Lottery ticket he purchased at Cafe Sao Paulo on Bolton Street in New Bedford on Nov. 23, he believed he had won $4,000 since the ticket said "$4MIL" below the number 26.

DaPonte does not read or speak English, his suit says, and "mil" translates to 1,000 in Portuguese.

He later asked New Bedford resident Maria Oliveira, one of the named defendants, to cash the ticket for him, since he knew she had cashed out scratch tickets for other people in the past and kept a percentage of the winnings for herself, according to the suit.

She obliged and returned $3,800 to DaPonte, court papers allege. DaPonte later learned after speaking with a friend that Oliveira and another named defendant, New Bedford resident Susana Gaspar, had schemed to grab the $4 million jackpot for themselves, according to the complaint.

Here's how they allegedly plotted to steal from DaPonte:

"As part of their scheme, the defendant Oliveira provided the ticket to defendant Gaspar so she could sign the ticket and present it to the Lottery Commission for payment," the suit says.

Gaspar chose the lump sum cash option on the ticket, which came to $2.6 million before taxes, according to the complaint. Now the remaining $1.6 million lies in escrow while the suit is pending, records show.

A lawyer for Gaspar and Oliveira didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

But in an affidavit filed with the court, Oliveira said she has "never cashed in lottery tickets for anyone" and never received a lottery ticket from DaPonte. And, she said, while DaPonte claims she gave him $3,800, she "never gave Mr. DaPonte any money at any time in my life."

Gaspar couldn't immediately be reached for comment, and a State Lottery spokesman declined to comment.

DaPonte's lawyer declined to comment.

"The defendants' acts... constitute knowledgeable assistance contributing to the common tortious plan of depriving the plaintiff of his lottery winnings," DaPonte's complaint says.

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

Wire reports

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20 comments. Last comment 6 months ago by river26.
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TheMeatman2005's avatar - lightening
Brooklyn, NY
United States
Member #169719
October 29, 2015
1482 Posts
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Posted: January 25, 2020, 3:35 pm - IP Logged

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!" (Sir Walter Scott, 1808).

The Meatman 🥩🍗🍔🍖🍤🌭

“The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” Will Rogers

Winning happens in a flash, Like A Bolt Of Lightning!  Patriot

    hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

    United States
    Member #52343
    May 21, 2007
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    Posted: January 25, 2020, 5:12 pm - IP Logged

    What a surprise......

    Comes to America and gets ripped off cause hes a dumb arse 

      music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
      Fresno, California
      United States
      Member #157851
      August 2, 2014
      3918 Posts
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      Posted: January 25, 2020, 5:16 pm - IP Logged

      "Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!" (Sir Walter Scott, 1808).

      I Agree! with you TheMeatman2005.  I hope that Daponte wins in court.

        How much will the lawyers earn? Nothing if he loses. If they are on contingincy.

       "We are all in this together!" 

        Avatar
        New Member
        Philadelphia
        United States
        Member #146472
        September 5, 2013
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        Posted: January 25, 2020, 6:23 pm - IP Logged

        He got conned out of his money by trash people like this that take advantage of someone that doesn't know the language or someone that can't read. I hope he wins his case and gets his money.

          Avatar
          Simpsonville
          United States
          Member #163184
          January 22, 2015
          2228 Posts
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          Posted: January 25, 2020, 6:28 pm - IP Logged

          To top it off, the Mayor of New Bedford is a very shady individual and despite indictments kept getting paid and they wouldn't even change the locks to keep him out of office.

            Drenick1's avatar - villiarna
            USA
            United States
            Member #152794
            February 25, 2014
            1103 Posts
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            Posted: January 25, 2020, 6:49 pm - IP Logged

            Horrible that there are predators who prey on people like him. Going forward, he may want to learn the English language as well as how to read and write or he may just lose another large chunk of $$$ that they froze on his behalf.

              cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

              United States
              Member #197033
              March 28, 2019
              538 Posts
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              Posted: January 25, 2020, 7:02 pm - IP Logged

              Based on the article it looks like a he-said-she-said case because it seems these women -- if they did indeed do what DaPonte alleges --  were smart enough not to leave a trail. My instinct says they probably did swindle him, but good luck to him proving it.

              At least his $3800 can buy him some of those fancy Rosetta Stone CDs and some in person English classes. I'm guessing Gaspar and Oliveira are also from Brazil, but were sensible enough to learn English.

              ... Sooper dooper top seekrit winning numbers: 5 16 17 24 33 52 ...

                Unluckyone's avatar - lib

                United States
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                August 4, 2016
                180 Posts
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                Posted: January 25, 2020, 7:21 pm - IP Logged

                This guy has no one to blame but himself. He is in a foreign country for crying out loud, learn to assimilate by learning English or risk being a victim again. How does he even drive if he doesn't understand English?

                  Avatar
                  Chasing $ Millions.
                  White Shores- California
                  United States
                  Member #136473
                  December 12, 2012
                  6265 Posts
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                  Posted: January 25, 2020, 7:32 pm - IP Logged

                  Luis is hiding something. For all we know, he could have had a fling with Maria, after some serious R&R, he confides in her, telling her that he bagged a couple of grand. Maria, realizing that Luis is not the brightest crayon in the box decided to speak to Susana about the situation.

                  The first rule of thumb: If you residing in a foreign country- learn the language. In visiting Puerto Vallarta a few years back, l was surprised to see a Chinese storekeeper speaking Spanish, but hey.

                  ** Live and learn Luis, live and learn. Look on the bright side Luis, you at least got walking around money, some thieves bleed you dry.Cool

                   * Voice of Reason *   

                   

                  People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                    Avatar
                    Kentucky
                    United States
                    Member #32651
                    February 14, 2006
                    8929 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: January 25, 2020, 9:38 pm - IP Logged

                    A Massachusetts man says two women cheated him out of $4 million in lottery winnings by taking advantage of his inability to read or speak English.

                    The man, Joao Luis DaPonte, said in a civil complaint filed earlier this month in Bristol Superior Court that when he initially scratched the Lottery ticket he purchased at Cafe Sao Paulo on Bolton Street in New Bedford on Nov. 23, he believed he had won $4,000 since the ticket said "$4MIL" below the number 26.

                    DaPonte does not read or speak English, his suit says, and "mil" translates to 1,000 in Portuguese.

                    He later asked New Bedford resident Maria Oliveira, one of the named defendants, to cash the ticket for him, since he knew she had cashed out scratch tickets for other people in the past and kept a percentage of the winnings for herself, according to the suit.

                    She obliged and returned $3,800 to DaPonte, court papers allege. DaPonte later learned after speaking with a friend that Oliveira and another named defendant, New Bedford resident Susana Gaspar, had schemed to grab the $4 million jackpot for themselves, according to the complaint.

                    Here's how they allegedly plotted to steal from DaPonte:

                    "As part of their scheme, the defendant Oliveira provided the ticket to defendant Gaspar so she could sign the ticket and present it to the Lottery Commission for payment," the suit says.

                    Gaspar chose the lump sum cash option on the ticket, which came to $2.6 million before taxes, according to the complaint. Now the remaining $1.6 million lies in escrow while the suit is pending, records show.

                    A lawyer for Gaspar and Oliveira didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

                    But in an affidavit filed with the court, Oliveira said she has "never cashed in lottery tickets for anyone" and never received a lottery ticket from DaPonte. And, she said, while DaPonte claims she gave him $3,800, she "never gave Mr. DaPonte any money at any time in my life."

                    Gaspar couldn't immediately be reached for comment, and a State Lottery spokesman declined to comment.

                    DaPonte's lawyer declined to comment.

                    "The defendants' acts... constitute knowledgeable assistance contributing to the common tortious plan of depriving the plaintiff of his lottery winnings," DaPonte's complaint says.

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

                    DaPonte does not read or speak English

                    Reminds me of the clerk I asked to give me a PB ticket with powerplay today and even placed $3 on the counter. They handed me three tickets, one with powerplay and two without. Apparently it took them three tries before they got it right.

                    He later asked New Bedford resident Maria Oliveira, one of the named defendants, to cash the ticket for him, since he knew she had cashed out scratch tickets for other people in the past and kept a percentage of the winnings for herself, according to the suit.

                    Can't read or speak English, but knew Maria "cashed scratch-offs for other people"?

                    I can read and speak English, but don't know anybody that cashes tickets for a %. Wonder if there is a clerk that remembers selling DaPonte a ticket or possibly a video?

                    Mister we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again

                      Avatar
                      Chasing $ Millions.
                      White Shores- California
                      United States
                      Member #136473
                      December 12, 2012
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                      Posted: January 25, 2020, 10:22 pm - IP Logged

                      Luis " should have" contacted Clarance Jones, from Massachusetts- you know the 80 year old who pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit tax fraud and filing false tax returns in connection with a scheme in which he bought winning Lottery tickets at a discount in order to help the real winners avoid paying taxes on the prizes. Clarance had a track record. l guess Luis was looking in the wrong place, after all finding an " honest " crook is never too far.Approve This could have been Jones's Last Crusade.

                       * Voice of Reason *   

                       

                      People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                        Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                        100
                        Zeta Reticuli Star System
                        United States
                        Member #30469
                        January 17, 2006
                        11490 Posts
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                        Posted: January 25, 2020, 10:35 pm - IP Logged

                        I always wondered if this was about Bristol, Mass., Connecticut or Tennessee..........

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CinviAVC5jY

                        Somebody paraphrase it to

                        The chicks in Bristol don't need a pistol.......

                        Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. 

                        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.

                          ekem6078's avatar - winter
                          TN
                          United States
                          Member #88773
                          March 23, 2010
                          2342 Posts
                          Online
                          Posted: January 25, 2020, 11:06 pm - IP Logged

                          Stupid is, as Stupid does. Crazy Why in the world would you buy a ticket, that you couldn't understand if you won or not. I mean really.

                            MillionsWanted's avatar - 24Qa6LT

                            Norway
                            Member #9517
                            December 10, 2004
                            1730 Posts
                            Online
                            Posted: January 26, 2020, 5:33 am - IP Logged

                            Might be hard to find out who's trying to fool who.