Father and sons allegedly cashed $21 million in winning lottery tickets in money-laundering scheme: Feds

lottery
Source: MEGA

Aug. 25 2021, Published 4:27 p.m. ET

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A father and his two sons are accused of fraudulently cashing in winning lottery tickets in what authorities called a “ten-percenting” scheme.

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On Aug. 24, federal prosecutors in Massachusetts announced Ali Jaafar, 62, Yousef Jaafar, 28, and Mohamed Jaafar, 30, were each indicted on one count of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and multiple counts of filing false tax returns.

Prosecutors said the Jaafars would then cash in the tickets for their full value with the Massachusetts Lottery Commission and then allegedly “improperly offset the claimed winnings with purported gambling losses, thereby avoiding federal income taxes.”

Between 2011 and 2019, prosecutors alleged, the trio cashed in over 13,000 Massachusetts lottery tickets worth nearly $21 million in winnings.

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“Based upon their submitted lottery claims, in 2019, Ali Jaafar was the top individual lottery ticket casher for Massachusetts. Mohamed Jaafar was the third highest individual ticket casher and Yousef Jaafar was the fourth highest individual ticket casher,” prosecutors said.

If convicted, prosecutors noted, the Jaafars each face up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater, and restitution for the conspiracy to defraud the IRS charge.

The conspiracy to commit money laundering charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater, restitution and forfeiture.

The filing false tax returns charge could result in up to three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.

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