“Lottery Lawyer” Jason Kurland charged with robbing jackpot winners of millions

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Self-branded New York attorney is accused of stealing millions from his clients

By Kate Northrop

The self-titled “Lottery Lawyer” attorney who advised dozens of significant jackpot winners across the country is now being charged by New York federal prosecutors for stealing millions of dollars from his clients.

Jason “Jay” Kurland has been charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, and money laundering in an indictment revealed today.

Prosecutors are estimating that Kurland stole more than $80 million from his clients throughout his long-running scheme. One of his victims won the record-breaking $1.5 billion Mega Millions lottery jackpot in 2018, the second-largest jackpot to-date and the largest payout to a single player ever. Another winner he stole from won a $245 million Powerball jackpot in 2018. The cumulative winnings of all his victims over time amounts to about $3 billion.

Kurland has represented players from every corner of the nation, even appearing on national television to offer advice to lottery players everywhere.

“The biggest mistake people make is doing it on their own,” he said of winning a big prize in 2019. “All the horror stories you hear is when people do it on their own.”

An ironic statement, given the context.

According to prosecutors, Kurland advised the lottery winners to invest in entities managed by co-conspirators, which included former securities broker Frank Smookler, Christopher Chierchio, who is supposedly a big-name player in a Genovese crime family, and Frankie Russo.

Gerald J. McMahon, Chierchio’s defense attorney, dismissed these accusations as fraudulent charges and claimed that his client was not involved in organized crime.

“If he were not Italian, there would be no accusation of this nature,” he stated.

For pushing jackpot winners to invest in the co-conspirators’ entities, Kurland was allegedly rewarded some of the cash. On the other end, Smookler, Chierchio, and Russo siphoned money from the investments.

Prosecutors described the schemers’ lavish lifestyles in court documents, saying that they “profited handsomely” from their crimes and enjoyed the luxuries of “flying private jets, taking exotic vacations, buying boats, paying country club dues and even ‘wrapping’ luxury cars.”

“Lottery winners can’t believe their luck when they win millions of dollars, and the men we arrested this morning allegedly used that euphoric feeling to their advantage,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney said. “The FBI New York discovered how these victims were persuaded to put large chunks of their cash into investments that benefited the defendants. Rather than try their luck at the lottery, these men resorted to defrauding the victims to get rich, but their gamble didn’t pay off.”

Thanks to Raven62 for the tip.

Lottery Post Staff

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June 10, 2010
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Self-branded New York attorney is accused of stealing millions from his clients

By Kate Northrop

The self-titled “Lottery Lawyer” attorney who advised dozens of significant jackpot winners across the country is now being charged by New York federal prosecutors for stealing millions of dollars from his clients.

Jason “Jay” Kurland has been charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, and money laundering in an indictment revealed today.

Prosecutors are estimating that Kurland stole more than $80 million from his clients throughout his long-running scheme. One of his victims won the record-breaking $1.5 billion Mega Millions lottery jackpot in 2018, the second-largest jackpot to-date and the largest payout to a single player ever. Another winner he stole from won a $245 million Powerball jackpot in 2018. The cumulative winnings of all his victims over time amounts to about $3 billion.

Kurland has represented players from every corner of the nation, even appearing on national television to offer advice to lottery players everywhere.

“The biggest mistake people make is doing it on their own,” he said of winning a big prize in 2019. “All the horror stories you hear is when people do it on their own.”

An ironic statement, given the context.

According to prosecutors, Kurland advised the lottery winners to invest in entities managed by co-conspirators, which included former securities broker Frank Smookler, Christopher Chierchio, who is supposedly a big-name player in a Genovese crime family, and Frankie Russo.

Gerald J. McMahon, Chierchio’s defense attorney, dismissed these accusations as fraudulent charges and claimed that his client was not involved in organized crime.

“If he were not Italian, there would be no accusation of this nature,” he stated.

For pushing jackpot winners to invest in the co-conspirators’ entities, Kurland was allegedly rewarded some of the cash. On the other end, Smookler, Chierchio, and Russo siphoned money from the investments.

Prosecutors described the schemers’ lavish lifestyles in court documents, saying that they “profited handsomely” from their crimes and enjoyed the luxuries of “flying private jets, taking exotic vacations, buying boats, paying country club dues and even ‘wrapping’ luxury cars.”

“Lottery winners can’t believe their luck when they win millions of dollars, and the men we arrested this morning allegedly used that euphoric feeling to their advantage,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney said. “The FBI New York discovered how these victims were persuaded to put large chunks of their cash into investments that benefited the defendants. Rather than try their luck at the lottery, these men resorted to defrauding the victims to get rich, but their gamble didn’t pay off.”

Thanks to Raven62 for the tip.

How long will it be until we’ll see this story on “American Greed”?  G5

Players who’ve won large lottery jackpots have something in common. Many of them say “I’ve played the lottery for years, but I never won anything but small prizes.”   That’s normal or typical, but it’s also why you should not get discouraged and stop playing.  Who knows?  Maybe someday you’ll say “I’ve played the lottery for years….”

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Billionaires Row 57th street Manhattan
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What ???? Ha ha ha ha

Thief in so called gentlemanโ€™s clothing ha ha ha ha

So I said to my people, slow the testing down pleeeease ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช

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Will the identity of the 1.5 billion dollar win be revealed in court? How do you conceal that?

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๐Ÿ˜’why am I not surprised by this story ??

and even worse b4 Virginia became an anonymous state, I was going to call this guy Crazy

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So much for “trust me I will help you”. 

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So much for “trust me I will help you”. 

The lottery winners paid between $75,000 and $200,000 in upfront payments to hire Mr. Kurland and his law firm, according to court papers. Mr. Kurland then charged monthly fees of between $15,000 and $50,000″. 

After persuading the lottery winners to invest, the four men then spent some of the funds on golf club memberships, yachts, private jets, a Porsche and other luxury cars and shopping sprees at stores like Fendi, prosecutors said.

Law enforcement officials had been wiretapping the menโ€™s phone calls for months, including conversations in which they discussed whether they might go to jail.

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The lottery winners paid between $75,000 and $200,000 in upfront payments to hire Mr. Kurland and his law firm, according to court papers. Mr. Kurland then charged monthly fees of between $15,000 and $50,000″. 

After persuading the lottery winners to invest, the four men then spent some of the funds on golf club memberships, yachts, private jets, a Porsche and other luxury cars and shopping sprees at stores like Fendi, prosecutors said.

Law enforcement officials had been wiretapping the menโ€™s phone calls for months, including conversations in which they discussed whether they might go to jail.

Greed will catch up with these wolves in sheeps clothing.  May these winners recoup their money.  It stinks that you don’t know who to trust.

Prayers for PeaceBlue Angel

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Louisiana
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August 27, 2018
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Gasp

Thud

Twitching in a Grand Mal Seizure

Yikes

I was going to use him, If I ever won big

All number sets are contenders until the drawing occurs.

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Why would anyone be taking investment advice from a lawyer?

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Greed will catch up with these wolves in sheeps clothing.  May these winners recoup their money.  It stinks that you don’t know who to trust.

โ€œLottery Lawyerโ€ and Three Co-Conspirators Indicted in $107 Million Scheme to Defraud Lottery-Winning Clients

Taken from Justice.gov

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorneyโ€™s Office

Eastern District of New York

The Meatman ๐Ÿฅฉ๐Ÿ—๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ–๐Ÿค๐ŸŒญ

โ€œThe quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.โ€ Will Rogers

Winning happens in a flash, Like A Bolt Of Lightning!  Patriot

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I am glad this happened. This is supposedly why you want to use a huge law firm when claiming a JP, to reduce chances of snake-isms like this.

I, also, was going to at least consider using this guy, however, I would have passed on investment advice, especially giving him access to my $$$.

Judging by the company he keeps, JK probably would have had me whacked for that!

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A long and winding road
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Firm believer in handling your own finances. Allow your tax advisor to handle the irs paperwork. Beyond that be your own advocate for sound investments.

2500,2202,4441,6506,202, *13***

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The lottery winners paid between $75,000 and $200,000 in upfront payments to hire Mr. Kurland and his law firm, according to court papers. Mr. Kurland then charged monthly fees of between $15,000 and $50,000″. 

I’ve always figured that those claiming on behalf of winners and putting their names out there for the public would have to deal with the annoyances the winners would avoid by concealing their own identities, and they deserve to be compensated for that. At the same time I’ve always been under the impression that this guy  was charging more than he should. Even in a Long Island office 50k per month is enough for a full time staff of 5 to answer the phone and throw away the mail, and still leave something for the lawyer that’s not dealing with the hassles. I also figured that smart clients would use him once, then look for a certified financial planner and a different lawyer to deal with ongoing stuff.

This is supposedly why you want to use a huge law firm when claiming a JP, to reduce chances of snake-isms like this.

Powers of attorney and signatories to the bank accounts are the first step in protecting your money. It’s not completely fool-proof, but another good step is paying for advice by the hour and using well-established companies with well-known names for the actual investing.

There’s a lawyer in MA who has represented a few MA winners (not sure about any from out of state), and I recall an article in which he said he just charges for his actual time to create a trust and claim the prize. Figuring he’d catch some of the hassles I  thought he  should probably charge more, but I’ve  always had the impression he might be a good guy to handle the claim process. And while using a competent lawyer from a firm of any size is good for taking care of the basic process, I think they should find a nondescript guy with a name like John Smith who lives in a very large city (with plenty of other John Smiths) to be the name (and face, if necessary) that the lottery releases to the public. No reason to make it easy for the general public to find an address or phone number to pester.

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Simpsonville
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January 22, 2015
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Wow.    New York doesn’t play and they’ll pay dearly.

May have to look up to see where Bernie Maddov (spelling) ended up with his white collar Ponzi schemes.  That Pharmacy rip off artist that raised the price of a drug that was 15 years old by over 700% was recently in the news.   He wanted a cell phone in the prison so he could conduct more business, also from NY.

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