SEOUL, April 6 (Korea Bizwire) – A man in his thirties sentenced to three years in prison and restitution for habitual theft turned out to be a first-place lottery winner back in 2006.
The man, known by his surname Hwang, squandered his fortune in just four years, and started to commit thefts. The Changwon District Court explained on April 5 that the man had already been convicted four times after having committed 109 thefts.
Although Hwang was only sentenced to three years of imprisonment in the first trial, he was also sentenced, on appeal, to restitution of 800,000 won (US$ 736) for two of his victims.
The court also said that Hwang has a family to support, and suffers from mild mental retardation.
Hwang won the Lotto jackpot in 2006, and started to spend his lottery money lavishly on gambling and bars. When his fortune ran out in just four years, he started to commit thefts. He was put on the wanted list in June 2010.
Hwang stole cell-phones and luxury clothes worth 103 million won (US$ 94,700) over the past five years. When he was finally caught by police, he had a dozen lottery tickets in his pocket.
By M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)