A Mexican citizen must forfeit about $2.75 million in Texas lottery winnings because of his drug-trafficking conviction, a federal appeals court said on Wednesday.
Jose Luis Betancourt, 52, was arrested after making a cocaine delivery shortly after accepting $5.5 million for having the winning ticket in the December 11, 2002, lottery drawing, according to court documents.
A jury convicted Betancourt, who was living in the border city of Brownsville, Texas, of conspiracy and two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine in May 2003 and also found he must forfeit his one-half interest in the lottery ticket.
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"Mr. Betancourt's luck ran out, and appropriately so," said U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg.