Photo Credit: Robert Miller
A Brooklyn mom who won a $1 million lottery jackpot alleges that her daughter skipped town with the prize money, forcing the mom to sue her to get back the money.
Barbara Quiles, 51, purchased the winning New York Lottery $5 scratch-off ticket near her house in Bensonhurst on November 27, 2012. According to her Brooklyn Supreme Court lawsuit, Quiles claims she allowed her daugher, Linza Ford, then 19, to cash the ticket because she was suffering from lupus, borderline diabetes, bulging discs, spinal stenosis and two previous hip replacement surgeries.
The $1 million would’ve been parceled out during a 20-year term. That amount comes out to $50,000 a year or, after taxes, $31,152 a year. The goal was for Ford to collect the money on her mother’s behalf each year and deposit it into her mother’s bank account.
The lawsuit explains that Quiles, saddled with a grave illness and preparing for the future, didn’t want Ford and her other two children — Alexa, 8, and Stephanie, 29 — to have to deal with any legal inheritance issues if she died. Quiles told the New York Post, which broke the story:
“I felt that if I gave it to [Linza] to claim and if I [died], she would have access to split it between her two sisters.”
Quiles maintains she entered into a contractual “lottery agreement,” as she put it, with her daughter, whereby she would simply claim the money while Quiles would have full access to it. Instead, Quiles claims, Ford took the money for herself. As Quiles put it:
“I’m the winner of the Million Dollar Scratch-off, however I let my daughter claim my winnings because of my illness.”
The problem is, it’s a she-said she-said account because Ford herself claims she’s the rightful owner of the money:
“It was my ticket, signed by me. I went to the office in the Bronx. [My mother] even went with me to claim the ticket.”
Ford also claims her mother kept withdrawing large sums of money from the account without her authorization. This was why Ford ended up transferring the money to her own personal account.
Quiles claims in her suit that she was going to have full access to the money in the new account via a debit card but that, two years later, in April 2014, the card stopped working. It was during this time that Quiles alleges Ford left town, moving upstate to Chemung County with the money and the family’s dog. Quiles said:
“I felt like she stabbed me not in the back but right in the heart and twisted the knife.”
While Quiles claims Ford ran off because she stole the money, Ford maintains she left due to her mother’s alleged bipolar disorder:
“Why I left had nothing to do with the ticket. It had to do with [my mother’s] mental illness. If they knew her history they wouldn’t believe what she was saying about me.”
Quiles maintains that she has no mental illness. Seven months after she left, Ford allegedly withdrew all the earnings, leaving her mother with nothing.
A heartbroken Quiles told the Post, “I love my kids. If I didn’t have so much confidence and faith in [Linza], I wouldn’t have trusted her. She took it all.”
So who do you believe? We’ll have to watch as this plays out in court.