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- Former law firm partner Jason Kurland charged with duping lottery winners out of more than $100 million
- He and his co-defendants due to be tried in July
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A New York attorney accused of frauding his lottery-winning clients out of $107 million has lost his bid to suppress evidence the government allegedly obtained when it confiscated his cell phone.
Jason Kurland, a self-proclaimed "lottery lawyer," has failed to persuade a Brooklyn federal judge to grant his request to be tried separately from his co-defendants: Christopher Chierchio, Francis Smookler, and Frangesco Russo.
On Tuesday, US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis argument his trial should be slashed, because he will argue that his co-defendants were wrongfully lying. A trial date for July 11 has been set.
Kurland's argument that his cell phone was unlawfully confiscated by the government is wrong, and the evidence that it was confiscated was justified. Garaufis also cautioned that the government's seizure of Kurland's cellphone was justified.
Kurland, a former partner of Rivkin Radler, an established lottery dealer, has specialized in lottery winners. According to federal prosecutors, Kurland's clients have raised an estimated $3 billion each.
According to the prosecution, Kurland advised his clients to invest in trades and entities controlled by Chierchio, Smookler, and Russo.
prosecutors claim that some of the money was returned to Kurland's victims as interest payments, while the majority of the money reportedly fueled the lavish lifestyles of the defendants.
Kurland was charged in August 2020 with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, six counts of wire fraud, eight counts of honest services wire fraud, one count of money laundering and one count of money laundering.
After the charges were announced, a media outlet spokesperson for Rivkin Radler informed media outlets that the firm's relationship with Kurland was ended. Evan Krinick, the firm's managing partner, did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Chierchio, Smookler, and Russo are all accused in connection with a wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering and money laundering conspiracy. Smookler, and Russo, both accused in the extortion of a jewelry merchant, the prosecution said.
All four defendants, including Kurland, have pleaded not guilty to all counts. Telemachus Kasulis, a partner at Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason and Anello, has declined to comment.
United States v. Chierchio, the District Court of New York, 1:20-cr-00306 is the case.
Telemachus Kasulis and Dennis Dillon of Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello, for Jason Kurland
Lauren Elbert, Olga Zverovich, Benjamin Weintraub, Brian Morris, and Olatokunbo Olaniyan of the US Attorney's Office are all on the back of the government.
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David Thomas talks about law firms' careers, including hiring, mergers, and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.