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Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Lottery Thief Spared Jail Time

The New Haven Register

Lottery thief pays restitution, but victim says it’s not enough


Wednesday, March 25, 2009 1:18 AM EDT


Randall Beach

Register Staff

NEW HAVEN — One of three men charged with stealing up to $1 million in cash from a lottery jackpot winner in North Branford received a suspended five-year prison sentence Tuesday after he gave $175,000 in restitution checks to the victim.

But after the victim, Giuseppe Diglio, pulled the four checks out of the envelope given to him by Joseph Bernardo and verified they added up to the required amount, he told Superior Court Judge Richard A. Damiani, “He took a lot more money than he gave me.”

Diglio added, “I am very hurt.”

Damiani told Diglio, “I agree with you. With allegations of $1 million, it was a jail case.”

But Damiani said a problem developed verifying the stolen amount. “I used the figure of $350,000. Only you know how much was there. It’s tough to prove it in court,” he said.

Damiani added, “He’s getting a suspended sentence because he fulfilled his obligation to you” by paying restitution.

Damiani also told Diglio, “He’s moved to Arizona. He’s out of your life. He’s gone. If I were you, I’d say ‘Goodbye.’”

But Diglio said, “I went through a lot of aggravation. He knows how much money was there.” Holding up the checks, he said scornfully, “This is a Christmas gift.”

When given a chance to speak in the courtroom, Bernardo, 25, of East Haven, said, “I’m deeply sorry to Mr. Diglio and his family and anybody else affected.”

Last November, Bernardo pleaded no contest to first-degree larceny.

Under the terms of the three-year conditional discharge, Bernardo cannot violate any laws of Connecticut or any other state. In addition, every six months, he must send an affidavit to his attorney, Hugh F. Keefe of New Haven, affirming he has not been arrested for any offense.

Keefe said after adjournment he was glad Damiani did not impose probation, because it would have required Bernardo to stay in Connecticut until the case could be transferred to Arizona. Keefe said Bernardo has a job there and is “the only breadwinner” in the family.

The other defendants in the case, Raffaele Iuliano Sr., 45, and Raffaele Iuliano Jr., 19, of East Haven, are awaiting sentencing.

The Iulianos are Diglio’s son-in-law and grandson. Bernardo was a friend and neighbor of the Iulianos.

North Branford police said Diglio and his wife hit a lottery jackpot in 1986 and were keeping the winnings in a safe in their basement. According to police, the trio took the pins off the safe hinges and pried the door open.

Police said the theft occurred Nov. 5, 2007, while the Diglio family was celebrating a confirmation at Brazi’s Restaurant in New Haven. Police believe more money was taken on Thanksgiving Day of that year.

Diglio told police he didn’t notice the money was missing until Jan. 14, 2008.

Police and Diglio began to suspect the Iulianos were the thieves when the pair bought cars, houses and all-terrain vehicles. Iuliano Sr. reportedly also was spending a lot of time in casinos.

When police interviewed the Iulianos in the family home, officers noticed what seemed to be new flat-screen TVs and a laptop computer.


 Journal Register

What type of brain child keeps that amount of $$$ in the house?!! DUH!!! This guy smacks of pure DUMB AZZ. He decided to keep a million dollars in cash in a safe in his basement???!!! How stupid can he be??!!! Then he had the nerve to run his mouth about it!! Go figure.

I mean picture it, you have a millon dollars of cold hard cash hidden in your house, who would you tell? If he/or some family member had kept his/their mouth shut he would still have his money. I've said it once and I'll say it again, A fool and his money is soon parted.

To be honest I don't think he should have received anything back. That should have been a million dollar lesson learned. And what is the lesson ? 1. If there is a next time put the money in the bank. or 2. Rent a safety deposit box. and 3. Keep your big mouth shut!!!

What amuses me is this guy had the nerve to get attitude because he only got a fraction in return!! He is too stupid to realize he is one of the lucky ones who's ever had anything to get back. I mean look at all the people who lost their life's savings in the ENRON mess and this latest mess with Madoff.

Was justice served? No. Because the thieves should be prosecuted and sent to prison for their crime. There are a lot of thieves out there who are the sole bread winner of the family doing long prison time for stealing a lot less than what this bozo stole. But no surprise, as the saying goes, JUSTICE IS BLIND.

Makes you wonder if the judge is on the take also.......... Hmmmmmm.
Just the fact that they guy would have one million dollars in cash anywhere is stupid. What the heck does he need all that money in cash for? He could be making a lot more money by sticking it in a safe investment. And then he tells someone!! Doh!
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