Marty Derbyshire aston martin lawsuit

A Nevada woman is suing a San Diego car dealership and the staff at a California tribal casino at which she claims she won an Aston Martin sports car but walked away with just a tax bill.

Merida Manipoun, also known as Anoma Sengvixay, filed the lawsuit on Nov. 16 in San Diego Superior Court. The suit was filed against Aston Martin of San Diego, as well as a Viejas Casino & Resort operations manager, the manager of gaming activities, and a casino host.

The lawsuit claims Manipoun won a 2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT, worth some $134,000, in Viejas’ Dream Machine drawing on May 7, 2016. She went up on a public stage to receive the prize and posed for promotional pictures. However, instead of handing her the keys, Manipoun alleges Viejas’ staff took her in the back room and tried to convince her to accept a much smaller cash buyout instead.

Win an Aston Martin, leave with a 1099

Manipoun refused, and left Viejas that day with only a 1099 tax form for the value of the car. The lawsuit claims Manipoun contacted Aston Martin of San Diego shortly thereafter to try to claim the prize in person.

However, the dealership claimed it had no paperwork indicating she had won it. She contacted one of the casino’s operations managers in a further attempt to claim the car. However, Manipoun alleges she was told she was out of luck and no prize was forthcoming.

Manipoun is being represented by gaming lawyer Maurice “Mac” VerStandig, who filed the suit against the dealership and Viejas Casino & Resort staff due to the fact the tribal casino’s sovereign immunity protects it from legal claims.

The lawsuit alleges fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, breach of unfair competition law, and breach of unilateral contract. In addition to the $134,000 Aston Martin Vantage GT, Manipoun is seeking unspecified damages, plus attorney and court costs.

Viejas Casino & Resort has declined media requests for comment citing that the litigation is ongoing.

Viejas Casino & Resort

The casino is located in Alpine and features more than 2,000 slot machines and over 85 table games. When it opened in 2013, the Viejas Casino & Resort hotel had 128 rooms. The casino put in an additional hotel tower with 109 rooms in October 2015.

Viejas Casino & Resort is in the midst of adding a third, 158 all-suites hotel tower, a new pool, and restaurants. It is all expected to open in January 2018. The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians owns and operates the property.

Viejas and California online poker

In 2015, the Viejas tribe joined a coalition of tribal casino owners opposed to the participation of horse tracks and PokerStars in regulated online poker in California.

Viejas even went as far as to fund a radio ad campaign slamming PokerStars and its owner, Amaya.

All efforts to legalize and regulate online poker in California have failed. This is partly due to the inability of stakeholders in the state to reach consensus on such issues.

Image credit: Nadir Keklik / Shutterstock.com

Marty Derbyshire
Marty Derbyshire -

Martin Derbyshire is a veteran of the world of poker and gambling, having worked as a reporter, producer, and editor in the industry for more than a decade. He has traveled the globe interviewing high-profile personalities and contributes to a number of publications, including USPoker.com, PlayCA.com, and PlayNJ.com.