Lottery winner who took home $7.2m pleads guilty to scamming six people

A multi-million-dollar lottery winner has pleaded guilty to scamming six people.

Judy Carroll, 59, of El Cajon, California, won $7.2 million (AUD) with her husband in the local lottery in 1989.

It’s alleged Carroll, 59, ran a scheme between 2000 until 2016 telling people her assets had been frozen by the IRS because she owed taxes, the Rapid City Journal reported.

Judy Carroll, 59, of El Cajon, California, won A$7.2 million in the local lottery in 1989. She’s accused of scamming money from six people over a period of 20 years. Source: Getty Images (File pic)

The IRS did freeze her accounts for a period between 2007-2008.

It’s further alleged she told people she needed money to help her husband who she falsely claimed had his identity stolen.

She was facing 35 charges of wire fraud but she recently struck a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to four counts along with one of tax evasion on Friday.

It’s alleged she underreported income for nearly 20 years.

Carroll could face decades in prison. The agreement calls for her to pay nearly $2.22m in restitution to victims and the IRS.

Kelly Lhotak, a former neighbour of the accused, said the result of the case has “been a long time coming”.

“My heart is broken. I have had the worst betrayal of a friendship that anyone can ever experience,” she said.

It’s alleged Carroll scammed Ms Lhotak out of more than $860,000.

With Associated Press