Skip to main content

$30 Million Lottery Fraud in Massachusetts Gets Father and Son Jailed

A huge lottery fraud in Massachusetts led to the imprisonment of a father and son. The pair will spend several years in prison over a lottery scheme that allowed them to illegally claim more than $20 million through lottery winnings. Meanwhile, due to tax evasion, the two culprits were able to avoid paying more than $6 million in federal taxes.

On Monday, in a news release, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts announced that the father, Ali Jaafar, 63, was sentenced to serve five years in prison, while his son Yousef Jaafar, 29, will spend more than four years in prison. In addition to the jail time, the two criminals were ordered to give up their profit accumulated through the scheme and pay more than $6 million in restitution.

Elaborate Lottery Scheme Allows Father and His Sons to Acquire Millions

The father and son were convicted of one count of attempting to cheat the International Revenue Service (IRS), one count of attempting to launder money, and one count each of avoiding taxes by filing false tax returns.

According to US Attorney Joshua S Levy, this case could be considered “an elaborate tax fraud”. He reported that the duo was able to claim millions by defrauding both the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission and the IRS. The money they have illegally pocketed was the hard-earned income of state taxpayers.

The father and son team was able to recruit a huge network of culprits that helped them spread the massive lottery scam throughout the entire state of Massachusetts.

Valerie S Carter, who is the attorney representing both Ali and Yousef in court, said the two defendants wish to appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Meanwhile, last year, Mohamed Jaafar, another of Ali’s sons, pleaded guilty to attempting to defraud the IRS and will be sentenced in July.

According to the US Attorney’s Office, Ali and his two sons were three of the top four lottery ticket chasers in Massachusetts in 2019.

Deborah B Goldberg, chair of the state Lottery Commission and Massachusetts treasurer and receiver general commented on the case by saying it is an example of how the state Lottery is working with law enforcement to combat illegal activities.

How the Grand Lottery Scheme Managed to Work for Almost a Decade

In the indictment of the three defendants it was stated that the scheme was operating for at least nine years between 2011 and 2020. During that period, the three men worked with people known and unknown to the grand jury, trying to launder money generated through others’ winnings from the Massachusetts state lottery.

The men would convince real lottery winners to sell them their tickets for a cash discount instead of redeeming their prizes from the state lottery. If the ticket sellers agreed to give up their lottery tickets they were able to avoid identification by the Massachusetts Lottery Commission, which meant they would not be required to pay a number of taxes, which are withheld before the lottery prize is awarded.

Once the three defendants bought tickets from the real lottery winners, thanks to local convenience store owners, the Jafaars would claim the lottery prizes to the state lottery as their own, said the release.

The US Attorney’s Office said that over a dozen lottery retailers across the state will lose their lottery agent licenses as a result of their involvement in the lottery scheme in Massachusetts.

Prosecutors claim the scheme operations of the Jafaars allowed them to redeem more than 14,000 discounted lottery tickets, which brought them over $20 million. What is more, by reporting the winnings as their own on their income tax returns and stating fake gambling losses as an offset, they were able to circumvent federal income taxes and pocketed fraudulent tax refunds.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.