Father-son pair headed to jail after getting caught committing $20-million lottery fraud scheme
· May 31, 2023 · NottheBee.com

A state lottery has to be one of the most vigorously surveilled institutions in modern society. It would seem like an idiot move to try and rip it off. No way you get away with it.

These guys, however, thought they could do it. (Spoiler: They couldn't!)

Massachusetts father and son were sentenced in federal court on Monday for a scheme that saw the pair illegally claim more than $20 million in lottery winnings and lie on their tax returns to dodge more than $6 million in federal taxes, prosecutors said.

Ali Jaafar, 63, was sentenced to five years in prison while his 29-year-old son Yousef Jaafar was sentenced to 50 months in prison, the US Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts said in a Monday news release. They were also ordered to pay over $6 million in restitution and forfeit their profits from the scheme.

The scheme went like this: The pair would approach lottery winners and offer to buy their winning tickets for cash at a discount price. Winners were happy to do so because that meant they got to avoid being subject to taxation penalties if they went through the normal state lottery channels.

The Jaafars would then partner up with convenience store owners to help pass off the tickets as their own. The scheme led to the pair "unlawfully [cashing] over 14,000 lottery tickets totaling more than $20 million."

That's a lot of money. Five years in prison is also a long time. I'd say they came out behind on this one.

The participating convenience stores, meanwhile, "will have their lottery agent licenses revoked by the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission."

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