POWERBALL winner Edwin Castro has launched a motion to dismiss a lawsuit claiming his $2billion golden ticket was stolen from its rightful owner, The U.S. Sun has learned.
In the filing, Castro’s attorney, David De Paoli, argued that plaintiff Jose Rivera blatantly lied about serving the minted billionaire and instead served the wrong Edwin Castro.
The U.S. Sun previously reported that Rivera filed a suit in Alhambra Superior Court in February, claiming he purchased the big-money ticket at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena the day the November 8, 2022, drawing was revealed – which saw the winner pick up a staggering $997.6million after taxes.
Rivera alleged the ticket was stolen by a man called Reggie on the same day, who has since been identified as Urachi F. Romero and is listed as a co-defendant in court documents.
The plaintiff claimed he demanded Romero return the ticket, but he refused, telling him he had lost it, but if he did eventually find it, they could split the winnings.
Rivera claimed he refused to be blackmailed and reported the alleged theft to the California Lottery Commission and to law enforcement.
A proof of service was filed on May 17 showing court papers were allegedly delivered to Castro at his new $25million home in the Hollywood Hills and received by an unidentified male.
A copy of the summons, complaint, and other documents related to the case was handed to a Hispanic man in his 50s at Castro’s publicized address above Sunset Strip on April 25, the filing stated.
However, Castro’s legal team debunked the plaintiff’s claims, saying the papers were delivered to their client’s childhood home in Altadena, not his residence in Hollywood Hills.
“The Edwin Castro served was not the winner of the Powerball jackpot referenced in the complaint,” Paoli argued.
Paoli asserted that Rivera’s suit was served to Castro’s father, Edwin H. Castro.
The motion also argued that Rivera failed to link Castro and the co-defendant: “There are no facts as to how Edwin Castro came into possession of the winning Powerball ticket from ‘Reggie.'”
A case management conference and proof of service hearing have now been set for July 24 at the courthouse in Alhambra, California, with Rivera being represented by attorneys Estela Richeda and Brian Kramer.
When approached by The U.S. Sun, Castro refused to comment on the lawsuit or his historic win.
There is also no attorney listed for the California Lottery Commission or Romero, with The U.S. Sun making attempts to reach the defendants.
When contacted by The U.S. Sun on Friday about the mix-up, Carolyn Becker from the California Lottery Commission stated: “It’s not our practice to comment on pending litigation.
“I will reiterate our earlier statement that when it comes to the vetting process for big winners, California Lottery has the utmost confidence in its process for doing so.
“California Lottery remains confident that Edwin Castro is the rightful winner of the $2.04 billion prize stemming from the Powerball drawing in November of 2022.”
Joe Chahayed, the owner of Joe’s Service Center, spoke exclusively to The U.S. Sun after also earning himself $1million before taxes for selling the winning ticket.
The humble businessman, who chose to return to work the next day at 6am and gave his winnings to his family, maintained that Castro did buy the ticket and was a regular in his store.
He said: “I knew the guy before he won, he came every morning to buy coffee, donuts, and tickets … then he disappeared.
“I thought he was mad at me or something had happened, but then someone told me he won the money.”