USA: ‘Lottery Lawyer’ Gets 13 Years for Defrauding Clients

Jason Kurland, a Dix Hills attorney who was convicted last year of wire fraud and several other charges, has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Kurland, a partner at the law firm Rivkin Radler, marketed himself as the “Lottery Lawyer,” citing expertise in assisting individuals and their families who had won lotteries around the country with total winnings of about $3 billion. His clients included one who won the $1.5 billion Mega Millions lottery, another who won the $245 million Powerball jackpot, and a third who won the $150 million jackpot.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said, “The trial of Jason Kurland proved that Kurland violated his solemn duties as a lawyer and as an officer of the Court by stealing and misappropriating more than $100 million from his clients, who were some of the largest lottery winners in U.S. history.”

Kurland and his co-defendants engaged in fraudulent activities that led to losses exceeding $80 million for the clients, Williams’ office said. Kurland withdrew $19.5 million from a lottery winner’s account for an investment that was then misspent.

Also sentenced with Kurland last week was his codefendant Christopher Chierchio, who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. He was sentenced to five years in prison.  U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis imposed both sentences.*                *                *

In addition to their prison terms, Kurland  49,  and Chierchio, 54, of Queens, were sentenced to three years of supervised release.  Kurland was ordered to pay $64,600,000 in forfeiture, and his restitution will be determined by the court.  Chierchio was ordered to pay $26,550,000 in forfeiture and $30,550,000 in restitution.