Lottery winnings with stolen credit card

Hete’s the story:

I think that these are two different events, and that she won the money irrespective of the means of payment. Right now there is no indication I can see that she was defrauding the credit card company; people let others use their credit cards all the time, and no fraud attaches. All she needs to do is to pay the bill.

I think that they should give her the money. When she gets out of jail.

What do you think?

Nah, she needs to show she always intended to pay the bill, even if she lost. Tough to do.

I think the credit card company should collect the prize.

The folks with they’re name on the card are generally among the living tho’, ain’t they? Else, how can they give permission? Mebbe by way of John Edward?

In any case, people aren’t generally allowed to keep money gained thru illegal acts. Using the credit card of a person dead for an entire year sure smacks of fraud to me. I guess it’d be interesting to see if Ms. Goodenow has been using the card regularly - and keeping the balance current.

The credit card company should be paid by the culprit, they don’t have a special claim to the lottery money. The state should get the money and the credit card thief should be prosecuted.

She definitely shouldn’t get the money. The dead person’s estate would be a potential recipient.

I have trouble seeing why she shouldn’t get the money.

I will occasionally buy lottery tickets, and no one questions where I got the money to purchase them; for all they know, I could be a drug dealer, pimp, kidnapper or politician. If I were to win, I can’t see how the Lottery Commission would have the right to demand that I account for the legitimacy of the cash that I pulled from my pocket.

Most Lottery Commissions take the approach that possession is 10/10ths of the law. Several years ago, there was a (locally) famous case in Massachusetts. A convenience store owner used to take phone-in orders for lottery tickets from customers picking their favorite numbers, and he would hold them until the customers came to pay for them. As you may expect, one of the tickets was a winner, and the owner cashed it himself. The customer sued, documenting a history of playing that number, but the court ruled in favor of the store owner.

I have no respect for the woman in the case referenced above, but I just can’t see how they can claim that the ticket is not hers. By the logic stated by the officials, if the credit card had been used for a purpose that resulted in financial obligation rather than gain (say automobile payments), then would they assume those obligations themselves? Of course not; they would claim that they were incurred by the woman and were her responsibility. To be consistent, I believe that this gain (however awkward for those in charge) should be awarded to the woman.

I think she should be prosecuted for the drug possession, and if they can prove that she was defrauding the credit card company then that should be added to the charges. But, based on the information in the article, I have trouble seeing how she could be financially responsible for any more than the charges on the credit card.

The sad thing is that, given the meth possession, this money will disappear overnight. It isn’t a surprise to me that they can’t find a trace of the first payment.

I have to admit, it is cases like this that make law fascinating to me.

I agree. The credit card issuer has no claim to the money. The state offered a prize, and it was claimed. Why should the state get the money? The only reasonable recipient I can see is the deceased’s estate.

The credit card issuer should be paid the balance of the money owed on the card by Christina Goodenow.

Christina Goodenow should be prosecuted for fraud. Although depending on the amount, and whether she makes restitution, I don’t know if she should receive any jail time. How long has she been using the card? Has she been making payments? I think that if she has been using the card fraudulently, but has been making payments in the relative’s name, that would be a mitigating factor.

She should definitely be charged with possession of meth.

The answer should be that nobody gets the money. However, whatever gambling commission that oversees Oregon’s lottery would have fits over that, so it’s gotta go somewhere.

Clearly the woman was defrauding the credit card company. It’s called identity theft. The question is, what happens after that? Seems to me the ball is in the card company’s court.

I couldn’t find an explicit answer to my questions on credit card fraud/ID theft on Bank of America’s website (just looking there for illustrative purposes; I don’t know who the card provider was). It was all feel-good happy pictures of smiling people enjoying their high interest rates and promises of protection, etc. They didn’t explicitly show the fine print of what happens when a certain transaction is reversed. If the credit card company declines to pay the merchant for the price of the ticket, then does Goodenow actually have any rights to it at all? Would that be considered a ticket stolen by her from the merchant?

Since we’re not really talking about hard goods like a car or a house, but an investment, it’s more analogous to someone paying their $500 insurance premium with a fraudulent card and then making a $50,000 claim against the insurance. If the credit card company declines to pay the premium, does the insurance company have an obligation to pay that exorbitant claim? Would it have anything at all do with whether the defrauder was making payments in good faith on a fraudulent card? I wouldn’t think so.

The philosophical exploration of who might be entitled to the money is fun, but there is still too little information for me to make a decision.

Did Ms. Goodenow find the card among her relative’s effects in the last week or so and go on a mad spending spree? The money should go to the estate.

Did Ms. Goodenow begin using the card at the time that her relative died in order to cover funeral and estate settlement expenses (which Ms. Goodenow may not have been able to cover, herself), and then went on to make the payments and periodically use the card, perhaps oblivious to the ramifications? Let her keep the money.

(Who was the principal heir to the deceased relative? Who was the executor of the estate? Was Ms. Goodenow the only relative who stood by the deceased in the last years of that person’s life (and possible infirmities)? Are we looking at the family “outsider” who tried to skim some profit out of the relative’s estate? Or at the sole support of the deceased who simply did not think through the issues of law regarding the use of a card?)

(And, of course, this is a case where Law and Justice could easily wave at each other in passing without ever coming in contact.)

I think she should keep the money. If I stole, say, $ 50 000 and used them to start some small business that turned to be so succesful that I’m billionaire within 10 years, at which point it’s discovered that I was the thief, would my victim be legally entitled to all my assets? I strongly suspect he wouldn’t be.

If that’s the case then why do people file lawsuits for violation of intellectual property and copyright? Spielberg was sued for E.T. by some woman who claimed he stole her idea “Lokey from Maldemar.” Then there was the Larry Potter fiasco. That particular kind of theft does result in the filing of a lawsuit to get back the assets the other person claims he would have made.

Er… never mind the fact that both of those two were thrown out because the plaintiffs were batshit loons trying to defraud the courts, but still, some are valid suits.

By the same logic that says if you steal a credit card and buy a car with it, you don’t get to keep the card or the car.

True enough, but a lottery ticket isn’t really the same thing, is it? I believe a lottery ticket is what’s known as a “bearer instrument”; if you’re holding the ticket, you get the money. Granted, she could be, and should be, prosecuted for stealing the card, the meth, etc., but as a matter of law I think she gets the lottery money. (IANAL. I’m a second-year law student, but haven’t covered any of this in class.)

Wikipedia on bearer instruments:

From the Oregon Lottery site (PDF link, Google-converted HTML link):

I suspect they’ll make some kind of exception for this case, but I think the law would strictly require that she get the money.

I agree she should keep the money, for this reason. If someone stole a dollar from me and used it to buy a ticket, should I get the money? Picking numbers involves at least some level of “skill,” and you could argue that a person should be rewarded for that skill. Just like if you were to steal some money and build a business on it; the business wouldn’t exist without the original theft, but it also wouldn’t exist without the skill it took to build it.

She should be prosecuted for the crime of stealing the card and the drugs, but should get the money.