A long running fight between a Victorian truck driver and his former workmates

Gary Baron was accused of running off with the syndicate's winnings. Photo / 123RF
Gary Baron was accused of running off with the syndicate's winnings. Photo / 123RF

A long-running fight between a Victorian truck driver and his former workmates over a disputed $16.6 million group Powerball win has come to an end.

A settlement was reached on Wednesday between former Toll courier Gary Baron, 50, and 14 of his colleagues and lotto syndicate members, who claimed Baron failed to tell them when he won in 2014.

The members suspected the winning ticket was purchased though a workplace lotto syndicate at Toll's North Geelong depot, south of Melbourne, but Baron claimed he bought it separately.

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Syndicate lotto winner does a runner

Baron was in charge of collecting $20 from each syndicate member to purchase lottery tickets on behalf of the group, according to a writ filed last year.

There was an understanding any winnings would be split equally between all members.

After collecting his winnings, Baron quit his job and purchased a luxury home for himself and a property for a family member, as well as a $200,000 convertible BMW M4.

Members of the syndicate, who said they were friends with Baron, told A Current Affair they questioned him about his recent lavish purchases.

"I said 'you haven't pulled off the Powerball and haven't told us or anything have ya?' and he just goes 'nah, nah' and he just laughed and walked away," one of men in the syndicate said.

Gary Baron
Gary Baron

"Winning Tatts lotto is like, everybody dreams of it, that it only happened to the lucky few once in a while, this was our shot, and it's gone -- he took it away from us."

The 14 syndicate members only learned the truth about Baron's newfound wealth after one of his Toll colleagues delivered him a congratulatory bottle of champagne from Tattslotto.

The civil trial ended on the same day it began in the Victorian Supreme Court on Wednesday. It was expected to carry on for five days.

"Things have changed a bit," Justice Kim Hargrave said after counsel for the group suing Baron advised the court the case had been resolved.

It's unclear what kind of agreement the parties have reached, but they are scheduled to return to court today for final orders.

It is understood each of the members wanted around $1 million in a pay-out but may get less than a quarter of that, according to A Current Affair.

- Daily Mail

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