Posted on August 25, 2011

Man Jailed for Threats over Lottery Ticket Faces Deportation

MSNBC, August 24, 2011

A Georgia man who was jailed for threatening his boss over a disputed $750,000 lottery ticket faces deportation, with authorities saying he is in the U.S. illegally.

Police say Jose Antonio Cua-Toc threatened his boss, Erick Cervantes, and his wife, calling them repeatedly and saying he would “kill each of them and their children if they did not give him some of the lottery winnings,” according to local newspaper The Sun News.

Cua-Toc’s attorney denied the allegations Wednesday on MSNBC-TV.


Cua-Toc, 25, says he is the one who bought the winning lottery ticket and that Cervantes, 31, cashed the ticket on his behalf but failed to give him the winnings. Unsure whether his immigration status would affect his chance to cash in, Cua-Toc had held off on turning in the ticket himself.


To cash a lottery ticket, a winner must show ID and provide a signature. Lottery officials say they don’t verify immigration status.


In a surveillance video played during a hearing in March, Cua-Toc is seen in OM Food Mart on Nov. 17, 2010, buying chips, beer, a phone and lottery tickets, The Sun News reported.

The tape shows him returning to the store later that evening and showing employees the ticket. He can be seen smiling excitedly and raising his hands in the air.

“There’s surveillance evidence,” Moreno told MSNBC. “He went in; you see him celebrating when he comes in a hour later with his girlfriend. There were three witnesses.”


The winnings are currently frozen, and a Georgia judge will decide who the rightful owner is.

Meantime, a judge has ordered Cua-Toc to leave the U.S. voluntarily by September 6. If he does not comply, he will be deported and not allowed to return for 10 years, local news channel WMAZ said.