BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Twelve people and three stores were indicted for a scheme to defraud the government using the lottery, Attorney General Maura Healy announced Tuesday.
The individuals and stores involved in the scheme are accused of stealing tax revenue from the state by laundering lottery winnings and lying under oath on their lottery claim forms.
The scheme, known as "ten-percenting" allegedly saw individuals purchasing lottery tickets from winners and claiming them to get a percentage of the winnings as a fee from the winner. This allows the original winner to avoid paying state and federal taxes.
Those indicted by the grand jury hail from Lynn, Revere, Boston, Medford, Malden, Chelsea, and Reading. The stores involved included Underground Express in Boston, Richdale in North Reading, and NT Lucky Variety in Chelsea.
The individuals indicted are facing a range of charges money laundering, tax evasion or conspiracy to evade taxes, perjury, attempting to obstruct state tax laws, and failure to file a tax return. All three stores are facing charges of conspiracy to evade taxes.
The stores allegedly involved in the schemes will have their lottery license suspended and all of their lottery-related equipment removed from the stores. Arraignments have not yet been set for the individuals allegedly involved in the scheme.
These charges resulted from an investigation by State Police and the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, according to a statement from Mass Lottery. Along with these 12 individuals, six more people have been indicted through these investigations over the last three years.