Police: Lottery Winner Scammed Customers Out Of Thousands Of Dollars

LOWELL (CBS) – A Wilmington man who won $1 million on a scratch ticket three years ago is behind bars, accused of scamming customers out of thousands of dollars.

Michael Santaniello continued running his Chelmsford oil company, Mike’s Oil Heat Service, after winning the money.

He’s accused of charging people for services he never performed. Prosecutors said in court on Friday there were at least 10 victims who lost about $10,000 to Santaniello.

Santaniello allegedly told the victims they needed new boilers and oil tanks, took their money, and disappeared.

The victims were in Bedford, Burlington, Billerica, Lexington and Wilmington.

The defense says Santaniello is broke and on food stamps.

Santaniello gets about $35,000 a year after taxes through 2029 from his lottery win. Prosecutors also noted in court that he won an additional $24,000 from the state lottery between 2009 and 2011.

He’s being held on $250,000 bail.

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