’It’s a despicable, despicable scam’ says man lured in Ocala Powerball scheme

More people come forward after News 6 story

ORLANDO, Fla. – More people have come forward claiming they were targeted by others online pretending to be an Ocala Powerball winner.

Sheryll Goedert won $367 million in the Powerball Jackpot in February.

Soon afterward, she claimed in a lawsuit that people have been using her name and likeness to swindle people out of money.

Since the story was first reported, people have contacted News 6 saying they were approached by someone online using Goedert’s picture and name.

“Supposedly, this lottery winner said that I had won $30,000,” said one man, who wanted to remain anonymous.

He said he read what they had to say online, and he kept waiting for the hook.

“We need your name, your address and your phone number,” he said. “I gave them my name, my address and my phone number, and I was skeptical all along.”

He said he and his wife didn’t give them any money, and they searched online.

“(My wife) did research and found a link to your investigation, and said ‘I should totally email this guy because somebody needs to get these people.’”

David Hathaway, Goedert’s attorney, said he subpoenaed Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out who created the social media accounts that use the Goedert’s name and face.

Last week, all three companies filed objections.

“The specific objections in those letters are not very troubling to me,” Hathaway said. “They seem like boiler plate. Actually, some of them don’t even apply to this particular case.”

He’s hoping the federal courts will see things the same way.

In the meantime, he’s warning people to beware of any solicitation online that bears Goedert’s name, face and promise of fortune.

The man who was approached by these people is warning others, too.

“These people should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said. “I just imagined something like this happening to anybody’s grandparents.”

About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.