Now thats gotta hurt...
Lottery winner loses jackpot
CanWest News Service
August 18, 2005
BROWNSVILLE, Texas - A convicted drug dealer rolled snake eyes Wednesday when a court ruled he can't keep his lottery winnings because he bought the ticket with drug proceeds.
Jose Betancourt was convicted in May 2003 of conspiracy and two counts
of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The jury had ruled then that Betancourt, a Mexican citizen, should forfeit half his interest in the lottery jackpot -- about $5.5 million US -- because the ticket was purchased with
his ill-gotten gains.
On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
said federal law allows the government to seize all property and proceeds
obtained from drug trafficking.
"Mr. Betancourt's luck ran out, and appropriately so," said U.S. Attorney
The appeals court also upheld Betancourt's drug trafficking conviction and
his sentence of more than 24 years in prison.