Lottery winner pleads guilty in larceny case

Lottery winner pleads guilty in larceny case

Good things don’t always come to those who wait and unfortunately sometimes those who win large lottery prizes are not the most deserving ones. There are plenty of examples of people who seemingly lost their minds after winning the jackpot, and threw everything down the drain because they were simply reckless. A different type of case has been recently brought to the media’s attention, as a lottery millionaire pleaded guilty to several larceny charges.

A lifetime of deceit and theft

The Chelmsford man was charged with many counts of larceny over $250 from various elderly citizens, a crime that the perpetrator committed for many years in a row. What makes it even more infuriating is that Michael Santaniello had no hesitation in taking advantage of elderly citizens, and charged them for services and materials that he never provided. In fact he had no intention whatsoever of respecting his end of the bargain, and his only goal was to strip the rightful owners of their hard earned cash.

The scam would’ve gone unnoticed if one of the senior citizens wouldn’t have alerted the authorities, who determined that Michael has been operating in this manner for years. He was the owner of a home heating business called Mike’s Oil Heat Service and his victims were mostly residents of Chelmsford. The total amount of the damage he caused revolves around the value of $20,000, an amount that he is now forced to return. Luckily for him this won’t be a problem since he has recently won $1 million in the lottery.

An easy way out for the millionaire

The fact that the Mass. State Lottery made him rich overnight saved his skin, because money is not really of the essence right now for him. The 60 years old Michael Santaniello will gladly pay every last cent, just to make sure that you won’t serve a day in jail. The investigators presented the evidence in court and after the perpetrator pled guilty, he was sentenced to a total of five years in the House of Correction.

The sentence would be suspended for five years and he will be placed on probation, but Santaniello will have to attend Gambler’s Anonymous meetings. Some might think that the sentence is not appropriate for someone who has deceived people for years, with paying the restitution plus attending a money-management course being not sufficient to fit the crime. Others are simply upset by the fact that while hard-working and honest lottery players never win anything, a convicted felon gets that lucky.


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