Gertrude Townsend, an 87-year-old woman from the “bad part of town,” went from rags to riches when she won 2.68 million dollars in the Florida Lottery. Her family held her hostage while stealing the spoils and attorneys battled for guardianship on her dime, to determine who would control the fortune.
Mark Twain said history does rhyme and nest eggs are still wiped out by pretentious “do-gooders.” Poor Grandma!
Lotto Grandma Lives In Poverty, Feels Heartbreak
August 15, 1998|By TESSIE BORDEN Staff Writer
In fact, detectives say, the windfall brought her only unpaid bills, a bedridden existence and the heartbreak of a grandson who stole her money.
On Thursday morning, that grandson, Eric Jones, was arrested as he tried to cash a $650 check in Townsend’s name at the Nations Bank branch at 1300 Southeast 17th St. Police charged Jones, 25, with grand theft, passing a forged check and financial exploitation of the elderly.
“She’s technically a millionaire,” said Fort Lauderdale Detective Joe Roubicek. “But her phone is getting turned off. She’s living in squalor.”
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Joe Roubicek: Joe's Cases: Rich Grandma, Poor Grandma