A 40-year-old Brazilian, who has lived in Italy for three years, became the target of an investigation by the Verona Prosecutor’s Office in the north of the country. The man, who supported himself by working in the civil construction sector, proved his luck by winning the lottery not once, but twice in just 20 days.
On February 4, he scraped a popular lottery ticket in the country, a scratch card called “gratta e vinci” (scratch and win) purchased at an establishment in Modena. Thus, he earned 1 million euros (R $ 6.5 million). Twenty days later, in the city of Garda, neighboring Verona, the Brazilian bought another ticket and pocketed another 2 million euros (R $ 13 million).
These two outbursts of luck for the Brazilian drew the attention of the authorities. The suspicion would be an attempt to defraud the lottery. This got worse, according to the newspaper “Corriere della Sera”, when he presented himself to the bank to receive the second prize.
At the site, the Brazilian would have said that he would soon return to receive a third prize, this one of 5 million euros (R $ 32.4 million). Thereafter, the Verona Prosecutor’s Office initiated the investigation and received a notification from the Finance Guard, the body that oversees financial crimes in the country.
Officials deemed it suspicious to win the lottery twice in 20 days
The alert concerned a transfer of 800 thousand euros (R $ 5.2 million; the value of the first prize, less taxes) to an account in Brazil. In addition, he made a transfer of 80 thousand euros (515 thousand reais) to a friend in Italy in the form of a donation.
For this reason, the Brazilian’s account was blocked on suspicion of money laundering. According to the Public Ministry, the quanta originated in “the crime of abusive access to the lottery’s computer system and the consequent disclosure of secrecy”. Judge Giuliana Franciosi scored the improbability of winning two prizes in such a short time.
Thus, the Brazilian became suspicious of being part of a group that is being investigated in the country. Corriere della Sera reported the situation and, allegedly based on reports from investigators, reported that he “knew where the winning tickets were sold”.
“Italy always puts everything in doubt, especially in such a case,” lawyer Giovanni Chincarini, a defender of the Brazilian, told BBC News Brazil. Sixty days later, the Verona Prosecutor’s Office concluded that the Brazilian did not commit any irregularities. He was simply very lucky to acquire both tickets.
Brazilian awaits the release of the award and closing the case
Regarding the transfer to Brazil, the Brazilian explained that he passed on the values to his family. While the donation of 80 thousand euros went to a very dear person. The winning of a third prize of 5 million euros, which the Brazilian informed at the bank, was nothing more than a joke.
The justification for buying the two lottery tickets at different locations was due to their work. According to Chincarini, he traveled extensively to work and acquired the winning tickets where he was. “As this investigation was already open, they thought he was linked to the group, but all suspicions have already been dispelled,” said the lawyer.
The defender believes that the case should be closed, something that had not yet occurred until Tuesday, 25, according to the Verona Court. The Brazilian has no intention of appearing publicly and waits for the payment of the prize. Of the 3 million euros obtained in the two scratch cards, he is expected to pocket 2.5 million euros (R $ 16.2 million). Since he had to pay 20% of the tax premium.