A father and his two sons face federal charges for a $21 million scam involving the Massachusetts State Lottery.

MassLive reports Ali Jaafar, 62, and Yousef Jaafar, 28, both of Watertown, and Mohamed Jaafar, 30, of Watertown and Waltham have been charged in connection with a “10-percenting” scheme in which they cashed winning Massachusetts state lottery tickets on behalf of the ticket holders to avoid taxes on the winnings.

According to prosecutors, Ali and his two sons cashed in more than 13,000 lottery tickets over an 8-year period. This allowed the actual winners to potentially avoid paying taxes.

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The three men were each indicted on one count of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and multiple counts of filing false tax returns.

The practice known as "ten-percenting" involves offering to buy winning lottery tickets for cash from actual winners at a discount that is typically between 10-20% of each ticket’s value. This would allow the ticket holders to avoid claiming the winnings on their tax returns.

Prosecutors stated that the Jaafars falsely reported major gambling losses on their tax returns which allowed them to reduce the amount of taxes they paid on the winnings. The charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering could land them up to 20 years in prison, if convicted.

For more on the story, visit MassLive's website here.

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