Massachusetts Lottery Alleged $3M Fraudster on the Run

A Massachusetts store worker who allegedly attempted to extort a share of a fraudulently obtained $3 million winning Mega Millions lottery ticket failed to show up in court this week.

Joseph Reddem, of Raynham, Massachusetts, is now a wanted fugitive. He was supposed to be present for a pre-trial hearing on May 13 in Plymouth County Superior Court. But he wasn’t there, and his attorney, Nicolas Gordon, says he is not aware of his client’s whereabouts. 

Reddem was due to stand for a full trial on extortion charges on May 30. He is accused of demanding a share of a $3 million winning ticket, of which Carly Nunes, 24, was not the rightful owner. He allegedly threatened to go to the police in an effort to up his agreed share. 

Both worked at the Lakeville Market and Liquors in Lakeville, Massachusetts, where Nunes obtained the ticket in January 2023. Nunes filed a guilty plea on larceny charges in February and was sentenced to two years probation. 

The real purchaser of the $3 million prize ticket, Paul Little, was eventually recognized by store owner Mike Patel months later and reunited with his winning ticket. 

The Ticket Purchase 

In January 2023, as he did several times a week, Paul Little went into a local store to buy a ticket.

He purchased a random number Quick Pick ticket entry to that week’s Mega Millions draw. However, he failed to pick up the ticket that he purchased and left it on the counter.

Assuming he lost the ticket after leaving the store, and not knowing what numbers to look up after the draw the next day, Little promptly forgot about the ticket completely. 

The next morning, Carly Nunes, the store clerk on duty when Little bought the ticket, turned up at the Massachussetts Lottery Office in Dorchester. She had a $3 million winning ticket and two other people in tow. 

One of those was her boyfriend. The other was Reddel, who gave the two of them a ride to the lottery office. 

Two things made lottery officials suspicious about Nunes’ claim. First, the ticket was slightly torn and damaged. Secondly, Nunes and Reddell were heard arguing about the distribution of the winning sum in the lobby of the office. 

“The woman that was claiming the prize said that she was only going to pay (Reddem) $200,000 and that was it,” said Dan O’Neill, director of compliance & security at the Massachusetts State Lottery, speaking to NBC10 Boston last year.

“Any time there’s an argument, there’s something up, and that’s a red flag.”

The Investigation and Charges 

These discrepancies prompted lottery officers to dig into Nunes’ ticket win. She couldn’t agree with her partner as to how the ticket became damaged, and she denied arguing with Reddem. 

Eventually, investigators put the ticket win on hold. They went back to the store where it was purchased and combed through security footage to get to the bottom of the story. 

That’s where they found out that Nunes had retrieved the ticket from the counter where Little had left it. 

In a further twist, a good Samaritan actually picked the fateful ticket up first accidentally, only to return it to the counter when she realized it wasn’t hers. 

The Fugitive and the Winner

Reddem was allegedly informed of what had happened some time that evening or the next day. What is known is that he gave Nunes and her boyfriend a ride to the lottery office, where the claim eventually unravelled. 

Reddem filed a not-guilty plea on extortion charges in May 2023. His lawyer seemed confident investigators did not have the evidence to prove he threatened to go to the police, or that he knew anything about the circumstances behind Nunes’ claim. 

However, he has now gone on the run and his whereabouts are unknown. A Plymouth County judge has issued a warrant for his arrest. 

Meanwhile, Nunes filed a guilty plea in February of this year. She was sentenced to two years probation on the promise of continued substance abuse treatment. 

The rightful owner of the ticket had to wait nearly six months to get his $3 million prize. Boat mechanic Little is a lifelong resident of Lakeville, and hasn’t moved away since the big win. 

“There’s a lot of things I’m going to do,” Little said in an NBC documentary on the case.

“I’ll pay off my house, and be able to fix it up. I also enjoy being on the water, I think it’s gonna be nice to enjoy a little more time on the water, instead of work, for recreation.” 

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