Bedford Gold Rush $10 lottery ticket scam: Joao Luis DaPonte sues Maria Oliveira and Susana Gaspar accusing them of cheating him out of $4 million lottery winnings.
Joao Luis DaPonte in his suit, filed earlier this month accuses Maria Oliveira and Susana Gaspar of depriving him of the multi dollar winnings from a scratch-off lottery ticket. All three are from New Bedford.
Records indicate that DaPonte does not read or speak English and that the ticket said ‘$4MIL,‘ which translates to $4,000 in Portuguese.
DaPonte says that he hit a winner on November 23 playing a $10 Gold Rush ticket that he bought at Cafe Sao Paulo on Bolton Street.
DaPonte in his lawsuit – alleges that he had Oliveira cash the ticket in, believing she had previously done the same for others in exchange for a percentage of the winnings, The Boston Globe reported.
DaPonte says that Oliveira gave him $3,800 that he thought were the proceeds from his ticket.
Cheated out of his winnings for fear of exposing his illegal status?
Then on December 10, DaPonte was stunned to learn that Oliveira’s boss, Gaspar, had just won $4 million on a Gold Rush ticket that she said she’d bought at Cafe Sao Paulo, which is next door to the bakery where they work.
Suspicious of the coincidence, DaPonte says he showed friends and a lottery retailer a photo he had taken of his own winning ticket, and was informed that the prize was $4 million, not $4,000.
DaPonte claims that Gaspar chose the lump sum option of $2.6 million, before taxes, and that Oliveira gave $3,800 in winnings to DaPonte. The remaining $1.6 million remains in escrow until the matter is resolved, records show.
Oliveira said she has ‘never cashed in lottery tickets for anyone,’ according to an affidavit in which she denies receiving a lottery ticket from DaPonte and ever giving him $3,800.
Gaspar and Oliveira deny the allegations, and have said that Oliveira purchased the ticket for her boss Gaspar on a break, and that the two had agreed to share the winnings.
A lawyer for Gaspar and Oliveira said DaPonte’s allegations were ludicrous.
‘Why do you hand it (the ticket) to a stranger?,’ attorney Walter P. Faria told the Standard-Times. ‘It’s hard to imagine someone else (a family member or a friend) didn’t recognize it was $4 million, not $4,000.
The case has since led to commentators on social media speculating whether Daponte is in the US illegally and the real reason as to why he had another party cash in the ‘winning’ ticket.
Commented one individual: ‘I have to ask why he asked someone else cash the ticket for him? If I had a lottery ticket that I thought was worth $4,000, I wouldn’t hand it off to someone else to get the cash. I’d go cash it myself.’
While another posted, ‘Good for him taking that pic. Those women are thieves and I hope they lose everything. Unbelievable!’
And then there was this comment which made this author wonder: ‘No empathy, no morale… typical narcissist, probably doesn’t even see him as a real person,… sees him just like a chess piece to move for their game. I also have a gut feeling that this guy is most likely an ILlegal and they knew he was and by law he cannot play nor cash it in and collect winnings… if he is lLegal, then he is fighting a losing battle and they would also be aware of that’