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Lottery Lawyer Sentenced as Judge Holds Him Liable for $62M in Client Losses
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In a significant legal development, Jason Kurland, a self-described lottery lawyer and former partner at Rivkin Radler, has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for participating in a scheme that resulted in substantial financial losses for his clients, totaling over $100 million. The sentencing judge held Kurland responsible for $62 million in client losses, highlighting the gravity of his actions.

According to a press release by the Justice Department on June 15, Kurland and his co-defendants engaged in fraudulent activities that led to losses exceeding $80 million for the lottery-winning clients. Furthermore, Kurland allegedly withdrew $19.5 million from one lottery winner’s account for an investment largely misappropriated by his co-defendants.

The severe sentences handed to Kurland and his co-defendant reflect a strong stance against fraud, as stated by U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, who affirmed that no matter their title or degree, individuals involved in fraudulent activities will face prosecution. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, after determining Kurland’s role in the losses incurred by his clients, emphasized the grotesque nature of the abuse of power exhibited by a lawyer.

  
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Kurland’s defense argued that only $626,000 in client losses should be attributed to him, representing the amount of kickbacks he received. However, prosecutors maintained that Kurland had retained three lottery winners as clients starting in mid-2018. These winners had sought Kurland’s investment advice after securing significant prizes, including a $1.5 billion Mega Millions lottery, a $245 million Powerball jackpot, and another $150 million jackpot.

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Prosecutors alleged that Kurland directed his clients to invest in merchant cash-advance businesses, in which he had partial ownership. Furthermore, he allegedly received undisclosed kickbacks based on a percentage of the winners’ investments. In one instance, Kurland convinced a lottery winner to purchase a business in which he had a stake for $2 million, resulting in significant profits for Kurland and his co-defendants.

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The press release described Kurland and his co-defendants as motivated by greed, engaging in haphazard investments that ultimately led to the loss of over $40 million of the lottery victims’ investment capital within a little over a year. To recoup these losses, Kurland and his co-defendants turned to investing in COVID-19 personal protective equipment deals. Reportedly, Kurland accessed $19.5 million from a lottery victim’s account without permission for these investments, but a significant portion of the funds were misappropriated by his co-defendants.

In July 2022, Kurland, aged 49 and residing in Dix Hills, New York, was convicted on charges of wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, honest services wire fraud, unlawful monetary transactions, and a related conspiracy charge. Apart from serving his prison sentence, Kurland is also required to forfeit $64.6 million, as determined by Judge Garaufis. Additionally, the judge will consider appropriate restitution to be paid.



The sentencing of Jason Kurland sends a strong message about the consequences of engaging in fraudulent schemes, particularly for individuals in positions of trust. The case highlights the importance of ethical conduct within the legal profession and serves as a reminder that legal professionals will be held accountable for their actions when they betray the trust placed in them by their clients.



 

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