The trial of a so-called lottery lawyer began this week, accused of swindling $107 million from three winners he was paid to advise.
According to the feds, Long Island attorney Jay Kurland steered his clients’ money into his own merchant cash advance business. According to prosecutors, he lost millions in a Ponzi scheme and invested more money into a disastrous venture to sell personal protective equipment to the state of California.
Before his arrest in August 2020, Kurland was America’s foremost counsel to the suddenly super-rich, advising lottery winners on how to protect themselves, their anonymity, and their money.
The biggest Mega Millions winner of all time was an anonymous individual who bought a ticket at a convenience store in South Carolina. According to prosecutors, this individual is one of the three victims.
There are charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, and money-laundering against Kurland.
The court heard that he initially offered investment advice. He began looking at more creative ways to grow his clients’ money once he gained their trust. The plastic surgery business of his brother-in-law offered Brazilian butt-lifts at $5,000 a pop.
The company he part-owned was called Cheddar Capital, and it was owned by the son of a late crime family capo.
The Powerball winner testified that Kurland did not declare his interest in Cheddar Capital to his clients or his 1% finder’s fee.
The three men believed they had spied a unique business opportunity. The trio was told by a Long Island jewelry dealer that he was buying pieces at “clearout” prices and flipping them for a 30% to 70% profit.
The FBI arrested Altieri in 2020 for running a $200 million Ponzi scheme. According to federal prosecutors, some $80 million of that came from Kurland’s lottery clients.
During the height of the Pandemic, Kurland and his associates tried to cover their losses by investing in the PPE business. Christopher Chierchio, a reputed soldier in the Genovese crime family, was behind this fraudulent enterprise. The money was never found again.
An assistant US Attorney told the court thatKurland persuaded his largest lottery client to invest $19.5 million. The people running the deal told Kurland they would need to double that amount, so he took the winner’s cash without permission.
The two people who have pleaded guilty to fraud have agreed to testify against the other person. Chierchio is accused of wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering, and money-laundering conspiracy.
Tim Kasulis argued that his client was a victim, who was played by the other three.
The case is going on.
Jason Kurland, a US-based lawyer, is accused of siphoning $107 million from three jackpot winners he was paid to advise. Kurland allegedly steered his clients’ money into his own merchant cash advance business. He also lost multiple millions in a Ponzi scheme and plowed yet more money into a disastrous venture to sell personal protective equipment (PPE) to the state of California, prosecutors said.