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Florida lottery winner discovers unemployment benefits collected by imposter

May 20, 2022, 7:03 pm

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Florida LotteryFlorida Lottery: Florida lottery winner discovers unemployment benefits collected by imposterRating:

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — Charles Dennis Engelhardt's legacy of state lottery winnings took a strange turn this month when Florida's unemployment offices (DEO) and Florida Lottery withheld his $600 Florida Lotto X winnings to cover part of a "current debt balance" of $1,799 for an unemployment overpayment.

Engelhardt told News 6 the notices made no sense because he and his wife retired in early 2014 and have had no reason to collect unemployment benefits over the last 8 years.

"We were making close to what we were making before we retired," he said, speaking with News 6 from his home in Sparr, Florida. "Then in July 2014, we hit the lottery."

On July 25, 2014, to be exact, the Engelhardts won the Lucky Money jackpot of $2 million. According to the Lotto press release, "he chose the one-time lump sum payment option" of $1,442,664.80.

"We were set, our kids were set," he said.

Ironically, in 1992, Engelhardt won the $228,231 Fantasy 5 top prize with no red flag from the state. But this time, the smallest of his three lotto jackpots exposed what a DEO investigator called a clear case of fraud.

"It had to happen after 2014," Engelhardt reasoned. "Because in 2014, when we hit the lotto, they would have done the same check as they did for the $600."

The DEO traced the unemployment benefits to the Frank Crum payroll company in Clearwater. News 6 asked Engelhardt to use the company's website to see if there was a W-2 tax form for 2014.

What he found was a W-2 showing he had earned and paid taxes on more than $2,300 in 2014. The name, address and social security number on the document were completely accurate, but Engelhardt reaffirmed he was already retired and had no need for additional income or state unemployment benefits.

Engelhardt reacted to what appeared to be wages for a part time job in a text to News 6: "Never had a part-time job in my life."

The DEO told Engelhardt it could take a few weeks to trace how much unemployment money was collected by the imposter. Engelhardt is expected to have his $600 lottery winnings reimbursed by the DEO.

News 6, Lottery Post Staff

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12 comments. Last comment 5 days ago by JeetKuneDoLotto.
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Simpsonville
United States
Member #163182
January 22, 2015
2917 Posts
Offline

Going to have to read this for the third time.  Wondering if it is a case of stolen ID?

 

To make readers smile a man got change for a $100 an hour ago to play scratch tickets from the lottery machine.   Mr. Nosey, me, said why don't you play Mega Millions?   He just looked @ me and left.   Came back in five minutes later and showed me and my dog (like she cared) his $5K win!

 

Today is National Rescue Dog day which Clarabelle is.   Didn't rescue a dog today but did rescue a $10 Mega Millions ticket this morning...maybe it'll make LP news!  Cashier said some guy didn't want it!

 

Everyone have a great weekend!

    Raven62's avatar - binary
    25
    New Jersey
    United States
    Member #17842
    June 28, 2005
    157025 Posts
    Offline

    A clear case of Identity Theft!

    10 Things to Do if Your Identity Is Stolen:

    https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/family-finance/articles/things-to-do-after-your-identity-is-stolen

    A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

    Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

    Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

    The best way to learn is to never stop being a student!

      Avatar
      Baton Rouge, LA
      United States
      Member #4602
      May 7, 2004
      783 Posts
      Offline

      That is what it looks like to me. I've had something like that happen to me. One day I got a call from a finance company stating someone applied for a loan in my name and I told them it wasn't me. They advised me to freeze my credit reports, which I did. I also found the application for the loan on one of my credit reports and luckily, they removed it.

      I also had one of my credit card numbers stolen twice within a few months. It made no sense to me how they found this information. I reported it to the police and a detective called me and asked some questions, but after that, never heard anything.

      This happened almost 5 years ago and nothing else has happened since. The only problem is if I want to apply for a new credit card, loan, etc., I have to unfreeze my reports but once that is done, I refreeze my reports. I also subscribed to an identity theft protection service which luckily, hasn't found anything.

      Prisoner Six

      "I am not a number, I am a free man!"

        Avatar
        Bronx ny
        United States
        Member #209099
        August 20, 2020
        58 Posts
        Offline

        Sometimes I think they make up these stories

          Avatar
          Simpsonville
          United States
          Member #163182
          January 22, 2015
          2917 Posts
          Offline

          That is what it looks like to me. I've had something like that happen to me. One day I got a call from a finance company stating someone applied for a loan in my name and I told them it wasn't me. They advised me to freeze my credit reports, which I did. I also found the application for the loan on one of my credit reports and luckily, they removed it.

          I also had one of my credit card numbers stolen twice within a few months. It made no sense to me how they found this information. I reported it to the police and a detective called me and asked some questions, but after that, never heard anything.

          This happened almost 5 years ago and nothing else has happened since. The only problem is if I want to apply for a new credit card, loan, etc., I have to unfreeze my reports but once that is done, I refreeze my reports. I also subscribed to an identity theft protection service which luckily, hasn't found anything.

          Great advice!  We did this for two of the three credit reporting agencies when it became available.   Back then, in KY it cost $10 to unfreeze it for your specified time limit and had to call them, I think with the lengthy PIN.  Then the Feds mandated that it be free nationwide.   Now can be done electronically vs the 'old way'.

          For those who still write checks, use gel ink vs standard ink so it can't be lifted off by thieves to change the amount.  Also use for instance J D. Customer vs Joanne D. Customer so that if thieves get a hold of the check they would have to guess the first name to forge it.  Perhaps these days that is a moot point with information available everywhere.  Don't have checks anymore, bill pay so much easier!

            Artist77's avatar - batman14

            United States
            Member #121739
            January 16, 2012
            7912 Posts
            Offline

            There are crooks all over and it only takes a minute for your info to be grabbed. I was at an event years ago and placed a tote bag on my seat with my purse. I went to a table in front 10 feet away for a minute. I found out later that 2 credit cards had been lifted. I put a fraud alert on my credit report and was buying a new car months later. I typically turn my phone to silent during a meeting and the sales rep apparently tried calling my phone and I did not see the call. When I did not see the call, he thought I was the thief for a minute. Had to show him the missed call. Lol. At least he took the fraud alert seriously.

            HALLELUJAH!!!

              Avatar
              Gallatin Tennesee
              United States
              Member #194096
              November 29, 2018
              178 Posts
              Offline

              Sometimes I think they make up these stories

              Identity theft is a very serious problem. It can happen in so many ways. The more info we have on how it can happen, the more we can try to protect ourselves. Kate and Todd continues  to work very hard to make sure we get thought provoking and important stories. The stories they do about how lottery officials make decisions is invaluable to lottery players. Clearly you have never watched the amount of research Kate does to bring us videos and pictures of past lottery winners.? Those stories can be both funny and heartbreaking, but nothing is "made up".

              US Flag

              Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.

              .......Sir Winston Churchill

                Avatar
                Florida
                United States
                Member #186822
                January 2, 2018
                453 Posts
                Offline

                No telling what else this fellow has in his name. Out of the 1.4 million he took in 2014, has he secured his assets?

                  Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
                  50
                  Chief Bottle Washer
                  New Jersey
                  United States
                  Member #1
                  May 31, 2000
                  26794 Posts
                  Online

                  Identity theft is a very serious problem. It can happen in so many ways. The more info we have on how it can happen, the more we can try to protect ourselves. Kate and Todd continues  to work very hard to make sure we get thought provoking and important stories. The stories they do about how lottery officials make decisions is invaluable to lottery players. Clearly you have never watched the amount of research Kate does to bring us videos and pictures of past lottery winners.? Those stories can be both funny and heartbreaking, but nothing is "made up".

                  US Flag

                  Thank you, we do strive to publish a good variety of interesting and impactful news stories. Quality over quantity. Kate does do a tremendous amount of research on the videos as well.

                    Avatar
                    Kentucky
                    United States
                    Member #32651
                    February 14, 2006
                    9618 Posts
                    Offline

                    Sometimes I think they make up these stories

                    Personally know someone that never filed for unemployment but got a 1099-G saying they were paid over $11,000 from FPUC claims. The mistake was corrected, but several states are still investigating people working in their unemployment compensation offices for fraud. 

                    Possible some of the lottery winners telling their stories are embellishing what actually happened, but most of the time it makes for good conversation.

                    "When will we ever learn?"

                      sully16's avatar - sharan
                      25
                      Ringleader
                      Michigan
                      United States
                      Member #81738
                      October 28, 2009
                      99782 Posts
                      Offline

                      Congrats on his win, hope they catch the imposter.

                      Happy National Almond Buttercrunch Day. Hyper

                        JeetKuneDoLotto's avatar - 5x3yGQT
                        Flat Earth
                        United States
                        Member #161360
                        November 27, 2014
                        814 Posts
                        Offline

                        Whatsa DEO?

                        Dectective in the 

                        Employment 

                        Office?

                        2 Million Nice win.  Invest in Alfie Oaks please!!!