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Victims of Con Man Will Share in His Jackpot

Joseph Sutera won $9.9 million in the Massachusetts lottery at a time when he also was swindling hundreds of people out of their retirement savings.

Now the bulk of his legal windfall will go to the victims of his illegal scheme. A federal bankruptcy judge on Tuesday sold the 20-year annuity contract the lottery jackpot was based on so the victims can get some money back.

Sutera, 58, of Waterford, is serving a five-year prison sentence.

He won the Mass Millions lottery in October, 1990, but only received a single installment of his winnings before victims of his real estate scam forced him into bankruptcy. Three subsequent annual installments were collected by the bankruptcy trustee.

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Under the sale approved by Judge Robert L. Krechevsky, Enhance Reinsurance Co. pays $4.17 million for the annuity, from which it will collect $7.9 million in the remaining installments.

There are about 800 claims totalling $7.8 million. After taxes, lawyers’ fees and other administrative expenses are deducted, the victims will recover about 35 cents on the dollar.


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