$2B Powerball ‘Pretender’ Could Face Police Charges, Official Says
Posted on: October 26, 2023, 08:15h.
Last updated on: October 27, 2023, 11:19h.
An Altadena, Calif. man who claims he is the rightful recipient of the world’s biggest lottery prize could be charged with filing a false police report, The US Sun claims.
Jose Rivera sued $2.08 billion Powerball winner Edwin Castro in February 2023, a week after he claimed the prize. Rivera alleged that he, not Castro, bought the golden ticket from Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, Calif., on Nov. 7, 2022. He claimed the ticket was stolen from him by his former landlord, Urachi F. “Reggie” Romero.
In an interview with The New York Post in May, Romero said he believed Rivera did have the winning ticket. Romero recalled Rivera explaining why he picked the winning numbers: 10, 33, 41, 47, 56, and red Powerball 10.
“I asked him why he picked two 10s. He said it was the date his parents both died. He picked 47 because that’s how old he is,” Romero explained to the Post. “He also said his dad always wanted a 1956 Chevy truck, so he picked 56. He had a reason why he chose every number, and he told me this before [the draw].”
But Romero denied taking the ticket and having any connection to Castro. He said he had no idea how the ticket ended up in Castro’s possession.
The California Lottery initially insisted it was confident Castro was the rightful winner, but added it is “not authorized to investigate any criminal activity among its players.”
In June, the Pasadena Police Department confirmed that it had relaunched a formal investigation into the matter – after initially closing the case – and was working closely with California Lottery investigators.
City of Pasadena Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian reportedly told The US Sun Wednesday of a new twist in the case.
Derderian said investigators now suspect Rivera of lying about his stolen ticket and are preparing to act.
I was just told our police department turned over the documentation to our City Prosecutor for potential misdemeanor charges for filing a false police report,” she said.
Castro has always denied Rivera’s allegations through his lawyers, and has been busy splurging on luxury property in Los Angeles, according to reports.
These include a $47 million compound in Bel Air with seven bedrooms, 11 baths, and an infinity pool with sweeping views of downtown LA.
“We don’t really care what’s going on between those guys [Rivera and Romero], because it doesn’t really involve us except to the extent that we’re sitting here in court,” Castro’s lawyer, David De Paoli, said last month.
“At some point, it is going to become clear that Edwin G. Castro is the legitimate owner of the ticket,” he added.
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