By Staff

WATERTOWN (CBS) — A Watertown father and his sons are accused of scamming the Massachusetts lottery and filing false tax returns. Ali Jaafar, 62, Yousef Jaafear, 28, and Mohamed Jaafar, allegedly collectively claimed more than $20,989,284 by cashing more than 13,000 lottery tickets between 2011 and 2019.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Justice, the scheme is called “ten-percenting.” The Jafaars allegedly conspired with actual lottery winners to buy the winnings at a discount between 10-20% of the ticket’s worth, allowing the actual winner to avoid reporting their winnings on tax returns.

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The Jafaars then presented the winnings as their own and reported them on their income tax returns to “improperly offset the claimed winnings with purported gambling losses, thereby avoiding federal income taxes.”

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In 2019, Ali Jaafar was the top individual lottery ticket casher for Massachusetts. Mohamed Jaafar was the third-highest individual ticket casher and Yousef Jaafar was the fourth-highest individual ticket casher, a statement from the Massachusetts Department of Justice said.

All three men face one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and multiple counts of filing false tax returns.

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The charge of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service includes a sentence of up to five years in prison, the charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering includes a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, and the charge of filing false tax returns provides for a sentence of up to three years in prison. Staff