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Sex offender lottery winner target of lawsuit

Timothy Poole won $3M on scratch-off ticket

MOUNT DORA, Fla. – The victims of a sexual predator who became a lottery millionaire are now suing to win his wealth.

[VIDEO: Local 6's original report]

Timothy Dale Poole won $3 million on a Florida Lottery scratch-off ticket he purchased at a Mount Dora 7-Eleven store on Dec. 6. In 1999, Orange County authorities arrested Poole following allegations that he sexually battered a 9-year-old boy. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2002.

The victims are being represented by high-profile firm, NeJame Law. Mark NeJame told Local 6 on Tuesday there is no amount of money that will make the victims whole again, but what they can recover could help in some small part.

"There is no price tag for something like that, millions only starts to define what someone should pay if these allegations are true, but if there a couple of million out there, that's not enough, but we will take it," said NeJame.

In the complaint filed Monday afternoon, attorneys said the two boys, who were 5 and 9 years old when they say they were sexually battered by Poole, have endured years of damage. The damages include post traumatic stress disorder, physical pain and severe depression.

The victims also spent some weekends at Poole's home, according to investigators.

"He said Tim would sleep in the same bed as him at his house" and perform a sex act on the child, the detective wrote in the affidavit. "He said sometimes Tim would wake him up from sleeping to (perform a sex act)."

As part of a plea bargain, Poole pleaded guilty to attempted sexual battery and was sentenced to the 13 months he had already served in jail. The judge also ordered Poole to serve 10 years of sex offender probation and register as a sexual predator.

Local 6 first broke this story during an investigation into convicted sex predators on the job. In October, Local 6 found Poole working for his mother's cab company. Then, in December, he struck it rich with a scratch-off ticket. His victims now want it.

Lottery officials said Poole chose to receive his winnings in a one-time, lump-sum payment of $2,219,807.90.

Local 6 legal analyst Eric Dubois said the complaint has grounds to move forward and the statute of limitations has not run out.

"Twenty years ago, why would you ever pursue it? Because odds are he's never going to have any money. So he hits the lottery (and) wins $3 million," Dubois said. "They figure, we can finally recover and help compensate us for some of the emotional and mental abuse."

Just as quickly as the Mount Dora Man won the money, it could be spent, which is why the victims' attorney also filed an emergency motion to freeze his assets.

"If they don't freeze it now, he's going to spend it. He's already fled the state once when he was arrested in New York. He's a flight risk. He has $3 million. Essentially, he can buy his ticket to any place in the world," said Dubois.

Attorneys are now looking for Poole to serve him the lawsuit. He would have 20 days to respond. As of Dec. 12, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sex Offender Registry has Poole listed out of West Virginia.