Father and son sent to prison for 10-year $20 million lottery scheme

A Massachusetts father and son were charged Monday with a scheme to evade more than $6 million in federal taxes by illegally claiming more than $20 million in lottery winnings and making false statements on tax returns, prosecutors said. Convicted in federal court.

The Massachusetts federal prosecutor’s office announced Monday that Ali Jafar, 63, was sentenced to five years in prison and his son Youssef Jafar, 29, to 50 months. news release. They were also ordered to pay over $6 million in damages and forfeit any profits from the scheme.

In December, the two were convicted of one count of conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, one count of conspiring to launder money, and one count of filing false tax returns.

“This case is essentially an elaborate tax fraud. For more than a decade, this parent-child team has defrauded the Massachusetts Lottery Commission and the IRS to release taxpayers’ hard-earned millions of dollars. They swindled me out of money,” said acting U.S. attorney Joshua S. Levy in a news release. “Defendants worked together to recruit a broad network of co-conspirators to spread lottery fraud throughout Massachusetts and repeatedly lied to government officials to avoid detection.”

“The Jafars intend to appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals,” Valerie S. Carter, an attorney for Ali and Yusef Jafar, told CNN in an email on Tuesday.

One of Ali Jafar’s sons, also implicated in the conspiracy, Mohammed Jafar, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to defraud the IRS and is expected to be sentenced in July. CNN has reached out to his attorney for comment.

The men represented three of the state’s top four personal lottery cashiers in 2019, according to the federal attorney’s office.

“This case is just one example of the broader efforts the lottery is making in partnership with law enforcement to help prevent illegal activity. said Deborah B. Goldberg, State Treasurer, Secretary of the Treasury and Chairman of the Lottery Commission.

How planning works

The three indictments state, “From at least 2011 until at least June 2020, the defendants conspired with other persons known or unknown to a grand jury to obtain other people’s Massachusetts lottery winnings. of money was laundered.”

In a news release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said that instead of receiving the winnings, the men were buying winning lottery tickets from people across the state willing to sell them for a cash discount.

This means that real winners circumvent identity checks by state lottery commissions, which may “withhold any unpaid taxes, unpaid taxes, or child support payments” before paying the winnings. ‘, the statement said.

After purchasing discounted tickets from winners with the help of a convenience store owner who “facilitates the transaction,” the defendants claim the prize money as their own to the commission, the release added.

Dozens of lottery retailers participating in the scheme will have their lottery agency licenses revoked by the Massachusetts Lottery Commission, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors said the Jafar family illegally redeemed more than 14,000 lottery tickets worth more than $20 million in an “elaborate ’10 percent’ scheme.”

Prosecutors said the defendants could have further benefited by “declaring their winnings on their income tax returns and claiming equivalent bogus gambling losses as offsets, thereby avoiding federal income taxes and receiving fraudulent tax refunds.” said he was getting

Jolene Simpson: “The Jafar family uses their business knowledge and skills to perpetrate a decade-long complex tax and lottery scam to facilitate illegal activity in exchange for building a legitimate multi-generational family business. “We have built a huge network of co-conspirators for the crime,” the special agent in charge of the IRS’s criminal investigation in Boston said in a release.

CNN wire
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https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/05/24/a-father-and-son-will-go-to-prison-for-a-20-million-lottery-scheme/ Father and son sent to prison for 10-year $20 million lottery scheme

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