Viejas Casino wasn't sued because its tribal ownership protects it from liability, Lonnie Vining, Manipoun's lawyer, told Automotive News.
Samouris said the casino reversed its mistaken issuance of the 1099 tax form, and Manipoun "should not have experienced any tax liability."
But Vining said the IRS still considers the taxes "due and owing." Here's Manipoun's version of events as laid out in court filings:
She said she spent a large amount of money playing various slot machines. Doing so, she thought, would increase her odds in the car drawing.
When Manipoun's name was drawn, she was publicly congratulated and posed for promotional photos, according to her account in the court documents.
But she claims she was then "escorted into a back room and subjected to a high-pressure sales pitch" in an effort to persuade her to "forego her entitlement to the car" and to accept minimal cash compensation instead "on the apparent theory that would afford her appreciable tax benefits." She refused to give up her claim on the car, and when she went to the dealership to pick up the vehicle, dealership associates said they did not have paperwork that proved her entitlement to the car and could therefore not give it to her.
The defendants offer a contrary version:
Manipoun broke the rule requiring entrants to use the casino's loyalty club card and only their own betting on the slots to earn more chances to win.
Samouris said Manipoun's "companion played on her casino rewards card in clear violation of the casino's rules, thereby improperly gaining entries in the drawing." Surveillance footage corroborated that, according to a court filing.
The dealership wasn't involved in the disqualification decision, Samouris said. He said dealerships make money in promotions only when cars are given away. "Thus they have no reason to prevent casino patrons from winning cars — they certainly have not done so."