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Cashier and Boyfriend Accused of Swindling $3M Lottery Jackpot from Unwary Winner
In the quiet town of Lakeville, Massachusetts, a story of deceit, theft, and high stakes unfolded early this year. Carly Nunes, a 23-year-old cashier, and her boyfriend, Joseph Reddem, find themselves in the eye of a legal storm, charged with stealing a $3 million lottery ticket from an unsuspecting customer and attempting to pocket the colossal prize.
On an uneventful day in January, the sequence of events was set in motion when a lottery player unknowingly left his newly purchased lottery tickets in the terminal tray of a liquor store where Nunes worked. U.S. District Attorney Timothy Cruz detailed how the lottery player, oblivious of his stroke of luck, departed the store, leaving his fortune behind.
The store's surveillance cameras caught the unfolding drama. Another customer, noticing the abandoned tickets, brought them to Nunes' attention, who swiftly stashed them behind the counter.
The original ticket holder returned to the store, searching for his missing tickets but ultimately gave up, unaware that one of his Mass Millions tickets had the winning combination that night, securing a $3 million prize.
Days later, Nunes and her boyfriend Reddem, a co-worker at the store, appeared at the Massachusetts State Lottery headquarters, presenting the winning ticket and laying claim to the multi-million dollar jackpot. However, lottery officials grew suspicious due to the couple's dispute over the division of the prize money and the ticket's peculiarly damaged state - torn and singed.
Nunes claimed she had inadvertently damaged the ticket while retrieving it from her wallet and accidentally scorched it by placing it on a pipe. As the investigation progressed, she changed her narrative, alleging she had purchased the winning ticket at the end of her shift on the day it was sold.
However, Nunes' story unraveled when investigators reviewed the surveillance footage, clearly showing a different customer purchasing the ticket. Confronted with this evidence, Nunes altered her account once again, stating that she had "inadvertently obtained the winning ticket."
Authorities have since charged Nunes with larceny from a building, attempted larceny, presentation of a false claim, and witness intimidation. Reddem faces charges of attempted extortion.
The rightful winner, the unsuspecting lottery player, was tracked down nearly a month later by detectives. Unaware of the whirlwind of deceit surrounding his misplaced lottery ticket, he was relieved to hear that the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission intended to honor his rightful claim to the $3 million prize.