Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
LOTTERY WINNER NOT SO LUCKY AFTER ALL DALLAS � Jose Luis Betancourt, a resident alien from Mexico who was convicted on drug charges in 2003, could have had a good time spending about $2.7 million he won from the Texas lottery in December 2002. But instead, the U.S. government gets to keep the lottery winnings it seized from the convicted drug trafficker, and Betancourt will serve a 292-month sentence in federal prison on a drug trafficking conviction. On Wednesday, a panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Betancourt’s 2003 conviction for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute cocaine as well as the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Hilda Tagle of Brownsville, where Betancourt once lived. In addition to the long prison sentence, Tagle ordered Betancourt to forfeit his half share of a nearly $5.5 million lottery jackpot, after the jury found that he used proceeds from his drug trafficking for the lottery ticket. Betancourt appealed the forfeiture order, arguing that it violated the excessive fines clause of the Eighth Amendment and that, under 21 U.S.C � 853(a), his maximum forfeiture should only be $152,000. But in an opinion written by Fifth Circuit Judge Edith Brown Clement, the three-judge panel found that all proceeds obtained from unlawful conduct are subject to criminal forfeiture. Betancourt had argued that, because his neighbor, Guadalupe Rosales, purchased the lottery ticket with legitimate money, he should not have to forfeit it. But the Fifth Circuit panel found that evidence shows Betancourt paid Rosales for a half interest in any proceeds from the tickets he bought. The panel found that evidence at trial supports the jury’s finding that Betancourt used money derived from drug trafficking to buy his interest in the lottery ticket. � Texas Lawyer

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.