Seven people and three retail stores have been arraigned in Massachusetts following arrests for fraudulently winning lottery prizes and laundering the winnings, as reported by WBUR.
Back in October, the group were arrested for operating a ‘ten-percenting’ scheme, buying winning lottery tickets from their owners for a 10-20% discount, thereby allowing the original winners to avoid declaring the winnings on their tax returns.
WBUR reported that Frank Obey and Kenneth Grossman, who faced charges of conspiracy to evade taxes, attempting to impede/obstruct administration of Massachusetts tax laws, and money laundering, both returned not guilty pleas to Suffolk Superior Court.
Paritosh Patel, John Heller, Karl Voelker and Nelson Tejada were arraigned to Suffolk Superior Court on charges of conspiracy to evade taxes. So too were the three businesses indicted in October Underground Express, Richdale and NT Lucky Variety.
A legitimate lottery winner who was caught up in the scheme, Peter Marano, was charged with tax evasion in connection to having someone else claim his prize.
All individuals and businesses involved returned not-guilty pleas to the court and were released pending pre-trial later this month.
Originally, twelve individuals were arrested in connection with the ten-percenting scheme, with two elderly people charged with false statements under penalty of perjury, conspiracy to evade taxes, attempting to impede or obstruct the administration of Massachusetts tax laws and money laundering.