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Car won from casino still undelivered

Woman claims she was taxed $134,000 for Aston Martin she never got

Aston Martin Vantage GT
Aston Martin Vantage GT

Merida Manipoun filed suit in federal court November 16, claiming that she won a $134,000 Aston Martin Vantage GT in a drawing at Viejas Casino. The contest was arranged so that those who plunked the most money into slot machines would have the best chance of winning.

She dropped in plenty, according to the suit. But after allegedly winning the car, employees of the casino tried to pressure her into accepting a small amount of cash so that she could limit her taxes on the winnings. She refused, demanding the car. One of the defendants filled out a 1099 Form, listing her tax liability for the $134,000 windfall, according to the suit. The form was sent to the Internal Revenue Service, says the suit.

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She went to Aston Martin of San Diego to claim the car. The dealership said they had no paperwork for the transaction, and wouldn't give her the car, according to the suit. Later, one of the defendants in the suit, a Viejas employee, told her she would not get the car but would still have the tax liability, according to the suit. So she filed suit against several employees of Viejas, and the Aston Martin dealership, claiming fraud, conspiracy to defraud, breach of unfair competition, and breach of unilateral contract.

Viejas was not sued because it is considered a sovereign nation, immune to such suits in United States courts. The suit has not been served, so getting the defendants' legal position is not practical at this point.

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Aston Martin Vantage GT
Aston Martin Vantage GT

Merida Manipoun filed suit in federal court November 16, claiming that she won a $134,000 Aston Martin Vantage GT in a drawing at Viejas Casino. The contest was arranged so that those who plunked the most money into slot machines would have the best chance of winning.

She dropped in plenty, according to the suit. But after allegedly winning the car, employees of the casino tried to pressure her into accepting a small amount of cash so that she could limit her taxes on the winnings. She refused, demanding the car. One of the defendants filled out a 1099 Form, listing her tax liability for the $134,000 windfall, according to the suit. The form was sent to the Internal Revenue Service, says the suit.

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She went to Aston Martin of San Diego to claim the car. The dealership said they had no paperwork for the transaction, and wouldn't give her the car, according to the suit. Later, one of the defendants in the suit, a Viejas employee, told her she would not get the car but would still have the tax liability, according to the suit. So she filed suit against several employees of Viejas, and the Aston Martin dealership, claiming fraud, conspiracy to defraud, breach of unfair competition, and breach of unilateral contract.

Viejas was not sued because it is considered a sovereign nation, immune to such suits in United States courts. The suit has not been served, so getting the defendants' legal position is not practical at this point.

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Feb. 10, 2021
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