Malcolm Ramsey is a 55-year-old man suffering from schizophrenia and living in an assistant living facility in Tampa, Florida.
Ramsey has been diagnosed as being unable to care for himself and his finances and has a guardian. Yet he regularly bought lottery tickets and recently won $403,000, which he lost in just four weeks on shopping sprees he was unable to control, especially after people started showing up at the facility to “visit” him.
When his caretakers and the facility administrators noticed how much new stuff he had accumulated and the number of people who had suddenly started visiting him, they stepped in, but he had already run out of money.
Now the government wants to stop his benefits because of his win. As for Malcolm, his condition is so severe that he apparently is indifferent to what’s happening to him. According to the article about Ramsey, the police were called and have been able to recover some of the money, but most of it is gone.
One of the things that sticks out in this article is the following statement: “Anyone found to have taken advantage of Ramsey during the ordeal may be subject to criminal charges. It is illegal to exploit a disabled or elderly person in Florida, which has a large senior population. Violating this law can lead to up to 30 years in prison.”
I find this ironic since legal gambling in any form exploits disabled and elderly people. If you don’t believe me, go visit a casino, especially during the day, and see for yourself.
Sandra Adell, Author, CONFESSIONS OF A SLOT MACHINE QUEEN: A MEMOIR