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Lottery winners sue financial adviser

Sep 24, 2003, 3:57 am

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Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation

A Vaughan, Ontario, couple who won over $19 million in a lottery are suing a lawyer-businessman for $7.75 million, alleging his investments squandered almost $5 million of their money.

Vito and Sabrina Palmieri won the Lotto Super 7 in February 2001, and retained Toronto lawyer Dev Misir to look after their legal rights and financial interests, according to their statement of claim.

The Palmieris claim that "Misir invested their money in financially troubled companies in which he had financial interests," according to the statement.

The Palmieris were "ordinary working people who were inexperienced in business and financial matters" and their gross family income was about $60,000 before their jackpot win, their claim stated.

"Vito was in state of shock. His jackpot win meant his life was fundamentally changed," said the Palmieris' lawyer, John Finnigan.

None of the Palmieris' allegations have yet been tested in court.

In his statement of defence, Misir contends he was hired only as an economic consultant and that the clients made their own investment decisions.

The Palmieris aren't "unsophisticated as pleaded, but rather intelligent and experienced in business," Misir alleges.

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