RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A California woman who won $5.2 million in a lottery has pleaded guilty in federal court in South Dakota to scamming six people in the wake of her win.
Judy Carroll, 59, of El Cajon, California, and her husband won the California lottery in 1989. Authorities say Carroll later scammed people, including a friend in South Dakota, in part by telling them the IRS had frozen her assets because she owed taxes, the Rapid City Journal reported.
Authorities say Carroll ran the scheme from about 2000 to 2016. The IRS did freeze her accounts, once, for a period in 2007 and 2008. Authorities say she also scammed people by telling them she needed money to help her husband, falsely claiming that his identity had been stolen.
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Lottery winners throughout history
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Great Grandmother Elizabeth Jones, aged 71, from Warrington in Cheshire who won #8,355,262 (US$13,368,400) in last Saturday night's national lottery poses for photographers with a crystal ball May 5. Jones' granddaughter was told of a windfall this May by a spritualist she visited in October 1997.
Shirley and Frank Capaci show off a check for $104,300,000 during a photo opportunity in Pell Lake, May 27. The Capacis won the largest lottery prize in U.S. history in the "Powerball" drawing of May 20, 1998. Looking on is state of Wisconsin Lottery Director Don Walsh (R).
Sean and Alex Taylor from Whitwick, Leicestershire celerbrate after scooping the jackpot of ?9,512,277 on the National Lottery in Birmingham May 6. The pasties delivery man who has three children screamed with disbelief when he realised the size of his win.
Lucky lottery winner Bruno Calonne (C)holds a board December 3, with the amount of 69.378.690 francs ($ 13.8 million) he won in yesterday's draw, in this northern France city. He is France's biggest winner in the national lottery since it was founded in 1976. L and R are the unidentified loto shop clercks
Powerball Lottery winner Andrew "Jack" Whittaker (R) holds a copy of
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December 26, 2002, after winning the $314.9 million jackpot. Looking on
at left are members of Whittaker's family (L to R) daughter Ginger,
grandaughter Brandi Bragg, and wife Jewell. REUTERS/John Sommers II
Joanne (L) and Jorge (R) Lopes of Englishtown, New Jersey, receive
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he purchased at a foodmart. The couple took home the largest ever
single ticket prize in New Jersey. REUTERS/Chip East
Erika Greene of Lawrenceville, Georgia holding the display check given
to her at the Georgia Lottery headquarters as she and her mother Vicki
Chambless (R) laugh during a press conference in Atlanta, Georgia,
April 17, 2002. Greene who is one of three winners of the Big Game,
bought her winning ticket at Rans Texaco in Dacula, Georgia and will
receive $58,938,743 before taxes. REUTERS/Tami Chappell
Filipino-born hospital worker Pedro Sotomil (R), representing the PFK
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Lori Montana (L), director of the Illinois Lottery, at a press
conference in Chicago May 17, 2002, where he claimed his portion of the
$331 million Big Game jackpot. REUTERS/Sue Ogrocki
Sheryel Hanuman (L) of Minneapolis receives a check from George
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office in Roseville, Minnesota, August 27, 2001 during the press
conference announcing her as one of four winners of the $295 million
Powerball lottery jackpot from the August 25 drawing. Hanuman plans to
take the cash option of $41.4 million ($27 million after tax
withholding). Hanuman, married and the mother of three boys, bought
five one dollar tickets at a Cub Fods grocery store while shopping for
a friend's wedding card.
EuroMillions lottery winner Angela Kelly smiles as she holds a copy of her winning cheque at a news conference at Airth Castle, Scotland August 15, 2007. Kelly, Britain's biggest lottery winner, was stunned into silence when she realised she'd scooped 35 million pounds ($71 million) with a single ï¿½1.50 ($3) ticket. REUTERS/David Moir (BRITAIN)
Powerball Lottery winners, from left to right, Chasity Rutjens, Alain Maboussou, and Dung Tran, celebrate after each was awarded a check for their share of the record $365 million jackpot in Lincoln, Nebraska February 22, 2006. The group of eight winners selected the cash option, awarding each person US$22,162,500 before tax withholdings. REUTERS/Chris VanKant
Winners of the record $340 million lottery Powerball look at the winning check in Salem, Oregon, November 8, 2005. The winners are: (L-R standing) Frances Chaney, Steve West, Carolyn West and Robert Chaney (seated). The winning ticket will be split between members of the Chaney and West families of Medford, Oregon. The $340 million jackpot drawing on October 19, 2005 was the largest Powerball jackpot ever won and the second largest worldwide jackpot ever. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
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Powerball lottery winners known as "The Ocean's 16 group", comprising of workers from an Ocean County garage, pose for a picture after a news conference in Tom's river, New Jersey, August 13, 2013. Sixteen county maintenance department workers from New Jersey submitted the second winning ticket on Monday in the $448 million Powerball lottery, officials said. The group from Ocean County, on the Jersey shore, was presented with a check for $86,054,355, their share of the jackpot after taxes, lottery officials said. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY)
John Mandley (L) of the Maryland State Lottery is pictured with the ?Three Amigos? who claimed their part of record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot in this picture released to Reuters on April 10, 2012. The Maryland Lottery?s Mega Millions winners are three friends, all of whom work in Maryland?s public education system, who will share the $218.6 million portion of the record-breaking $656 million jackpot from March 30. The winners, who referred to themselves as ?The Three Amigos,? chose the cash option of $158 million. After taxes, the winners will share $105 million, taking home just under $35 million each. REUTERS/Maryland State Lottery/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Mega Millions Jackpot winner Merle Butler (R) and his wife Patricia pose with their check along with Red Bud Mayor Tim Lowry (L) and Illinois Lottery superintendent Michael Jones during a press conference at Red Bud City Hall in Red Bud, Illinois, April 18, 2012. The retired couple described as "good people" by residents of this picturesque Illinois town claimed their one-third share of a record $656 million Mega Millions lottery prize on Wednesday, saying they would invest most of the money. The winning couple, Merle and Patricia Butler, married for 41 years, have lived all their lives in Red Bud, a tidy farming and manufacturing community of 3,700 people in southern Illinois, named for the trees that tower all over town. REUTERS/Illinois Lottery/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
Tom Delacenserie (L), Secretary of the Florida Lottery poses with Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt of Melbourne Beach with an oversized check after opting to claim their share in a lump sum payment in a winning ticket, worth $528.8 million, from the Jan. 13 drawing at the state's lottery headquarters in Tallahassee February 17, 2016. The Florida couple claimed their share of last month's record $1.6 billion U.S. Powerball lottery jackpot on Wednesday, coming forward with the second of the three winning tickets. REUTERS/Don Juan Moore
Powerball jackpot co-winners Lisa and John Robinson of Munford, Tennessee, their daughter Tiffany Robinson (L) and Tennessee Lottery President and CEO Rebecca Hargrove attend a news conference at the headquarters of the Tennessee Lottery in Nashville, Tennessee January 15, 2016. The couple revealed on the TODAY television show that they held a winning ticket to claim their share of the $1.6 billion Powerball prize. REUTERS/Harrison McClary TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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Carroll originally was charged with 35 counts of wire fraud. She recently reached a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty Friday to four counts of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion, for underreporting income for nearly two decades.
She could face decades in prison. The agreement also calls for her to pay nearly $1.6 million in restitution to victims and the IRS.
"It's been a long time coming, and she deserves punishment for what she did for several victims," said victim Kelly Lhotak, who met Carroll when they were neighbors in California in the mid-1990s. "My heart is broken. I have had the worst betrayal of a friendship that anyone can ever experience."
Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com