IOWA CITY, Iowa — A man who collected a Wisconsin Lottery jackpot that was rigged by his friend has admitted using the windfall for an investment scheme that produced another wave of undeserved government money.
Court records show Robert Rhodes recently testified that he used the $783,000 payout to receive an additional $180,000 in bogus tax refunds.
The Texas businessman sent $450,000 to the Caribbean to buy an insurance policy for a corporation that never did any business — except receive the lottery prize. He claimed the policy as a tax-deductible “business expense,” receiving refunds from the U.S. government and Wisconsin.
The St. Lucia-based insurer where Rhodes sent his cash was later accused of duping investors. Rhodes says the company “absconded” with $150,000.
Rhodes and former lottery contractor Eddie Tipton pleaded guilty to rigging the 2007 Megabucks drawing.