Contact: Beth Stone 508-584-8120
BROCKTON – One man has pleaded not guilty to a charge that he allegedly attempted to extort his co-defendant into paying him money as part of a scheme to steal a winning lottery ticket and cash it in, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz has announced.
Last month, a Plymouth County grand jury returned indictments charging Joseph Reddem, 32, of Randolph, with one count of Attempted Extortion. Today, in Brockton Superior Court, Reddem pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was released on personal recognizance with conditions that Reddem does not gamble or have any contact with his co-defendant or witnesses in the case.
Carly Nunes, 23, of Lakeville, has also been indicted on one count each of Larceny from a Building, Attempted Larceny, Presentation of a False Claim, and Witness Intimidation. Nunes is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday in Brockton Superior Court.
The charges followed a four-month investigation by Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, and Lakeville Police, which involved a voluminous review of records, video surveillance footage, and witness interviews.
On January 17, 2023, the male victim, entered the store formerly known as Savas Liquors, located at 330 Bedford Street in Lakeville, and purchased a bag of barbecue potato chips, two Massachusetts State Lottery Quick Picks for the Mega Millions lottery, and two for the Mass Cash lottery. The man added a multiplier to his Mega Millions ticket to increase the jackpot prize. Nunes, the checkout counter clerk, input the order into the lottery terminal, and printed two lottery tickets. Nunes returned to the cash register and rang up the man’s order, totaling $12.
The man left the store and drove home with the bag of potato chips, but left his lottery tickets behind in the terminal tray. That evening, the man’s identical Mass Millions ticket numbers were announced as the winning numbers, earning a $3 million prize. After leaving the store and realizing he no longer had his tickets, the man briefly searched for them but concluded that they were lost. Approximately 45 minutes after the man left the store, another patron entered to buy five lottery tickets. Nunes rang up the transaction and printed the lottery tickets. It is at this point, the patron realized two extra tickets had been printed, and gave the extra two belonging to the victim back to Nunes. Nunes took the tickets and said they must have belonged to “him,” meaning the victim.
Two days later, on January 19, 2023, Reddem, a co-worker at Savas, drove Nunes and her boyfriend, to the Massachusetts State Lottery Headquarters in Dorchester to redeem the lottery prize. The ticket was torn and appeared to be burned. Nunes wrote up and submitted her claim for the winning prize. A state Lottery customer service representative scanned the ticket and determined the worth to be “three million dollars.”
When informed, Nunes and her boyfriend embraced and celebrated. Shortly thereafter, Nunes and Reddem are seen on Lottery surveillance video arguing in the lobby. Reddem allegedly made extortion demands of the jackpot and Nunes informed Reddem that she would “only pay him $200,000.”
The arguments overheard by state Lottery officials coupled with the condition of the ticket, led Massachusetts Lottery investigators to interview Nunes. Nunes, stated that she purchased the winning tickets toward the end of her shift on January 17, 2023. Nunes stated that she mistakenly tore the ticket when removing it from her wallet and the burn marks were the result of her accidentally placing the ticket on a pipe. Lottery officials told Nunes that they were opening an investigation and that she would receive the jackpot prize at the conclusion of that investigation. Lottery officials contacted Massachusetts State Police and a criminal investigation commenced.
Surveillance video obtained from the Savas store confirmed that the male victim, not Nunes, purchased the winning ticket. During a further interview with investigators, Nunes no longer claimed to have purchased the ticket herself, but instead said she inadvertently obtained the winning ticket.
It was nearly a month before the male victim realized his mistake in leaving the $3 million ticket behind at Savas Liquors. Investigators worked to find the true owner of the winning ticket, posting flyers with photos of the man in surveillance video, canvassing the Lakeville area, and questioning patrons about the man’s identity.
After nearly a month, on February 13, 2023, the man was located and interviewed by investigators.
Reddem is next scheduled to appear in court on July 28.