Father And Son ‘Winners’ Found Guilty In $21 Million Lottery Scam

Father And Son ‘Winners’ Found Guilty In $21 Million Lottery Scam Massachusetts Lottery

A father and son who claimed to be “winners” of the Massachusetts Lottery were convicted of a $21 million scam, MassLive reports. Ali Jaafar, 63, and Yousef Jaafar, 29, were found guilty of money laundering and tax evasion, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Their crimes were long-ranging and incredibly detailed, but they’re now likely headed to jail.

  1. So, how did they do it? How could they have pretended to be lottery winners in order to scam the system? According to authorities, the father and son cashed in over 14,000 lottery tickets over the period of nearly a decade. These were real winning tickets purchased for somewhere between 10 and 20% of its value from the actual winners.
  2. Why would anyone sell their winning lottery ticket for less than it’s worth? Say you win a million bucks on the lottery. Why on earth would you sell that to some rando for $100,000? It’s a common practice, apparently, known as “10 percenting,” that allows the winners to avoid ever having to declare it on their taxes.
  3. It wasn’t just the winners the Jaafars used in their lottery scam. They also managed to convince convenience store workers to help them out. In total, it’s estimated that they collected more than $20 million in Massachusetts Lottery winnings.
  4. So, how did they get caught? Authorities reveal that back in 2019, Ali was the top lottery winner in the state, followed by his son Mohamed in third place and Yousef in fourth place. Together, they took in $1.2 million in tax refunds via the tickets, which they then offset by pretending to have major gambling losses on their tax returns. As U.S. Attorney Rachel S. Rollins said: That’s not luck, that’s fraud.”
  5. Mohamed pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the IRS in November 2022. He will be sentenced on March 8, 2023. Meanwhile, Ali and Yousef were both convicted on one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count each of filing a false tax return. They’re due to be sentenced on April 11 and 13, respectively. They could face more than 20 years behind bars. Scams never pay.
  6. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is pleased with the convictions. “By defrauding the Massachusetts Lottery and the Internal Revenue Service, the Jaafars cheated the system and took millions of hard-earned taxpayers’ dollars,” Rollins said. “This guilty verdict shows that elaborate money laundering schemes and tax frauds will be rooted out and prosecuted.”
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill