The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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May 16, 2013

Fayette County lottery winner could be jailed for tax evasion

PITTSBURGH — A 71-year-old Fayette County man faces up to a year and half in prison when he’s sentenced by a federal judge in Pittsburgh for trying to evade income taxes on $520,000 worth of Pennsylvania Lottery winnings.

Sherman Friend, of McClellandtown, pleaded guilty in September to having 40 people cash in lottery tickets worth $520,000 so he could avoid paying federal income tax on the winnings.

Prosecutors say Friend won big when he bought 208 50-cent tickets on the number 1127 for the lottery’s mid-day Big 4 drawing on Dec. 17, 2009. Each ticket was worth $2,500, so Friend asked more than 20 friends who, in turn, recruited others, to cash the tickets so the tax liability couldn’t be traced back to him.

In most instances, Friend paid the ticket-cashers $250, or 10 percent of each ticket’s value.

 

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