Six years ago Marva Wilson, 65, won $2 million playing the Missouri Lottery. Now she's broke because someone she considered her friend stole her winnings and used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle.
Wilson had her big win in 2008 and used some of the money to purchase a couple of houses—one for herself and one for her daughter. She also bought a car. Then in 2010 Wilson was befriended by Freya Pearson, 41, who quickly gained her trust, began offering her financial advice, and then swindled her out of $640,000.
"She was going in my account," Wilson said. "I didn't give her permission to do none of that."
Wilson had signed some papers at the bank and unknowingly given Pearson access to her bank account.
Last week a federal grand jury indicted Pearson for tax evasion, money laundering, and making a false statement.
According to the indictment, Pearson used the money to pay for an apartment in St. Louis, for gambling, and to fund her vacations.
"One time I called her and she was getting ready to board the plane to the Bahamas," Wilson said and went on to call her a "smart, slick, lying, educated crook."
Within months of their meeting Wilson discovered her bank account was overdrawn and she was forced to take out a reverse mortgage on her home.
There is little chance of her recovering any of the money.