Americo Lopes exits the courtroom on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 in Elizabeth, N.J. A jury found that Lopes had cheated five co-workers out of their share of a $38.5 million lottery jackpot. The men worked at a construction company in Elizabeth and began a lottery pool in 2007. Americo Lopes claimed the winning numbers for the Nov. 10, 2009 jackpot were on a personal ticket and not the ticket that he had bought for the pool. The eight-member jury disagreed. (AP Photo/The Star-Ledger, Frances Micklow, Pool)
ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) — A jury has found that a New Jersey man who cheated five co-workers out of their share of a lottery jackpot must pay them $2 million each.
Americo Lopes worked at a construction company in Elizabeth and began a lottery pool in 2007. He claimed the winning numbers for a 2009 jackpot worth $38.5 million were on a personal ticket and not the ticket that he had bought for the pool.
A jury disagreed Wednesday.
A spokeswoman for the Superior Court in Elizabeth says each of the five plaintiffs is now entitled to a pre-tax payment of $2 million from the lottery winnings.
The Star-Ledger of Newark reports (http://bit.ly/xwCu6h ) that Lopes left court saying in Portuguese that he had been robbed.
Information from: The Star-Ledger, http://www.nj.com/starledger