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.
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.