BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts family who authorities say claimed more than $20 million in lottery winnings has been charged in a lottery and tax fraud scheme, according to court records unsealed this week.
Ali Jaafar, 62, of Watertown, and his sons, Yousef Jaafar, 28, and Mohamed Jaafar, 30, are accused of running a scam in which they claimed prizes on behalf of the actual winners.
They bought the winning tickets from the real ticket holders for cash at a discount so the actual winner could avoid reporting the winnings on their tax returns, prosecutors said.
The Jaafars then pretended the winning tickets were their own, collected the cash and reported the winnings on their income tax returns, prosecutors said. They offset their supposed winnings with purported gambling losses, according to court records.
Ali Jaafar was the top individual lottery ticket casher in the state in 2019, according to prosecutors. From 2011 until 2019, he and his sons cashed than 13,000 lottery tickets to bring in more than $20 million, according to the indictment.
Emails seeking comment were sent to attorneys for Ali Jaafar and Mohamed Jaafar. No lawyer for Yousef Jaafar was listed in federal court records.