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Lottery Winner’s Luck Runs Out

Mustafa Shalash pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return in connection to lottery winnings in 2015. Shalash won a million dollars in the Ohio state lottery and that year declared $1,069,100 in winnings, along with $1,069,100 in gambling losses. To hide the money he wired $690,000 to bank accounts he owned abroad, including $440,000 to an account in Jordan.

IRS investigators discovered that Shalash regularly flew to Jordan with cashier’s checks in amounts ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 that he deposited in personal bank accounts without filing the required Form 105, Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments. On his tax returns he also failed to report that he had foreign bank accounts.

Shalash caused a tax loss to the IRS of $255,967. He faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison, a fine of up to $100,000 and restitution.

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