A New York attorney has been indicted on charges of defrauding three lottery winners out of $107 million.
The criminal indictment unsealed on Tuesday alleges Jason Kurland promoted himself as the go-to attorney for lottery winners to protect them from scammers and misspending their winnings.
Kurland promoted himself as a "Lottery Lawyer" and he often tweeted lottery winners with the hashtag: #call me.
In one YouTube video, Kurland is seen in his office with large replicas of lottery checks on his desk.
"I protect the ones that are going to spend too much and I try to teach the other ones how to be a wealthy person," Kurland said in an interview on web series, "Going In with Brian Vines."
But the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York alleges Kurland, 46, defrauded his clients out of $107 million in lottery money.
Kurland allegedly involved known mob associates in his scheme to defraud lottery winners.
One of Kurland's alleged partners is Christopher Chierchio, 52, a known soldier for the Genovese crime family, according to the indictment.
"The defendants callously thought they could line their pockets with lottery winnings without consequence, but today their luck ran out," said Seth D. DuCharme, the acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, in a news release.
According to the indictment, Kurland charged his clients an upfront retainer fee of between $75,000 and $200,000. Additionally, he required a monthly fee of between $15,000 and $50,000.
Prosecutors say three of his clients collectively won an estimated $3 billion - including a South Carolina man who won last year's Mega Million jackpot worth $1.5 billion.
After gaining his clients' trust by making investments, prosecutors allege Kurland convinced them to invest their money in companies run by mob associates and co-conspirators Chierchio, Francis Smookler, 45, and Frangesco Russo, 38.
Prosecutors say the defendants used the money to bankroll a lavish lifestyle. They used the cash to pay for expensive vacations, golf club memberships, private jets, luxury homes and cars, yachts, and shopping sprees for their wives and mistresses.
Most of the $107 million can not be recovered, according to the indictment.
All four defendants pleaded not guilty in the Brooklyn court on Tuesday.
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