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Mass. lottery winners face charges in welfare fraud

Massachusetts LotteryMassachusetts Lottery: Mass. lottery winners face charges in welfare fraud
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Two big time lottery winners are facing arraignment on fraud charges Thursday after the state auditor found that they collected welfare benefits during the same period that they won hundreds of thousands of dollars from the lottery.

James T. Casey Jr. of Waltham did not tell welfare officials that he has won more than $700,000 since 2009, Auditor Suzanne Bump found, a period in which Caset has collected $12,157 in MassHealth benefits and $1,553 in food stamps. Casey, who had just been released from jail when he started collecting welfare, was recently indicted on child sexual abuse charges in Middlesex ­Superior Court.

Also facing charges is Frank Basile of Belmont, who collected MassHealth benefits despite having cashed in more than $316,000 in winning lottery tickets over four years.

"What we're looking at is people who consistently fail to report significant lottery winnings in order to claim a public benefit to which they are not entitled," said Bump, whose ­office is investigating about a dozen other lottery winners for possible fraud.

Casey could not be reached for comment. But Basile, who received $17,500 in MassHealth benefits over four years, called the charges "a mistake." He said he was not planning to attend his arraignment.

Basile, who considers himself a professional gambler, ­argued that he is eligible for benefits because his net income is low after adding in his gambling losses, he said.

State welfare officials "get a copy of my tax forms every year," he said. "They look at how much you make in a year, but I lost as much. You win $100,000 and you lose $125,000."

Basile predicted that his case will be dismissed, saying, "Ninety-nine percent of the gamblers lose more than they win."

He did not say whether he has nongambling earnings.

Casey and Basile are suspected of being among a group of lottery customers who cash in other people's winning tickets to help them avoid paying taxes on the winnings or child support. These "10 percenters" — so-called because they keep around 10 percent of the proceeds — have been targeted by the state auditor's office for more than a decade.

However, Basile vehemently denied that he cashes other people's winning tickets.

"I'm no 10 percenter," he said, before hanging up the phone. "They [state officials] can think whatever they want."

As far back as 1999, A. ­Joseph DeNucci, then the state auditor, said professional ticket cashers were costing the state and federal government millions of dollars a year in lost taxes and child support.

Normally, taxes are taken out of lottery winnings when the tickets are cashed. But the 10 percenters, who stockpile losing tickets that frequently have been discarded by other gamblers, claim gambling losses to offset their winnings.

They end up paying no taxes on the winnings or get back ­refunds.

In fact, Casey did not file taxes at all in 2007, 2008, or 2010, years in which he won $623,900, according to state revenue officials.

Bump said even though lawmakers have tried to eliminate the 10 percenters a number of times, she hopes the charges against Casey and Basile will "compel them to look at it again so we can find a way to put an end to this activity."

Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby, who oversees the agencies that provide medical care and food assistance for low-income people, called the allegations outrageous.

"MassHealth and the ­Department of Transitional ­Assistance serve important missions and are critical pieces of the social safety net," Bigby said. "People who try to scam these programs threaten the very existence of that safety net and must be held accountable. We are working closely with the auditor's office and will assist law enforcement in their investigation in anyway we can."

Benefit recipients are ­required to report any change in their monthly income, officials said. Even if a gambler had no net annual income, he would be required to report his earnings any month he had winnings, according to Alec Loftus, spokesman for the Executive Office of Health and ­Human Services.

The alleged fraud was not detected until now because current law does not require the lottery to disclose winners to MassHealth. Other agencies, including the Department of Revenue and the Department of Transitional Assistance, get a list of the biggest prize winners.

Loftus said state officials are going to work to change the law so the lottery must share its list of winners with MassHealth.

Transitional Assistance, which administers the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program already has used the list to throw 54 recipients off public assistance this year and cut benefits to 359 others, ­Loftus said. Starting in 2014, MassHealth will have access to tax records, he said.

Lottery spokeswoman Beth Bresnahan said her agency already runs Social Security numbers of people who win more than $600 against state databases to determine whether the winners owe back taxes or child support.

If there is an outstanding debt, the amount is deducted from the prize.

In addition, she said, the lottery reports suspected 10 percenters to law enforcement and tax agencies.

But last year, the state's ­Appellate Tax Board sided with perhaps the most successful reputed 10 percenter, Clarance Jones of Lynn, who had ­redeemed more than 10,000 tickets worth a total of more than $18 million. When the ­Department of Revenue tried to collect taxes on his winnings, Jones appealed and won. The appeals board said that, instead of Jones owing the state money, the state owed Jones more than $200,000 which the lottery had withheld.

Casey and Basile, who are expected to be arraigned in ­Boston Municipal Court on felony larceny charges and misdemeanor charges of failure to disclose their winnings, face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.

Casey, who served 90 days in jail in 2009 after pleading guilty to six counts of possessing child pornography, was on probation when he was charged with two more crimes this year. He was indicted in March, charged with indecent assault and battery on an 8-year-old in 2011 and rape of an 11-year-old several years ago.

He said he was indigent and was assigned a public defender, Middlesex authorities said.

Thanks to PERDUE for the tip.

Boston Globe

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16 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by NITEHAWK61.
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JonnyBgood07's avatar - Patriots logo1.jpg
Connecticut
United States
Member #61623
May 29, 2008
19373 Posts
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Posted: May 31, 2012, 6:53 pm - IP Logged

In fact, Casey did not file taxes at all in 2007, 2008, or 2010, years in which he won $623,900, according to state revenue officials.

 

what a piece of sh*t...and a ped too.Man they need to bring back public hangings for these bast%rds

"...Life is not a matter of holding good cards,but sometimes playing a poor hand well...
'Fortune Cookie wisdom'

 


    sully16's avatar - sharan
    Listens to the wind

    United States
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    October 28, 2009
    18840 Posts
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    Posted: May 31, 2012, 7:35 pm - IP Logged

    In fact, Casey did not file taxes at all in 2007, 2008, or 2010, years in which he won $623,900, according to state revenue officials.

     

    what a piece of sh*t...and a ped too.Man they need to bring back public hangings for these bast%rds

    I agree.

    There's only one US Flag

      hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

      United States
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      May 21, 2007
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      Posted: May 31, 2012, 8:20 pm - IP Logged

      In fact, Casey did not file taxes at all in 2007, 2008, or 2010, years in which he won $623,900, according to state revenue officials.

       

      what a piece of sh*t...and a ped too.Man they need to bring back public hangings for these bast%rds

      tea you'll not hear a word out of me.....

       

      but I will include this list of other ideas

      http://www.medievality.com/torture.html

        haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
        egg harbor twp.south jersey shore
        United States
        Member #112972
        June 29, 2011
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        Posted: May 31, 2012, 8:26 pm - IP Logged

        If you receive welfare, that $ comes from taxpayers,

        and you use that $ to buy lottery, you have, in effect, created a lottery pool,

        w/out the consent of the other contruibuters.

         

        Guess what, if you win ?

        I own a piece of that .

        as do thousands of others, reducing your win to ZERO.

        Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

          weshar75's avatar - Lottery-042.jpg
          Mcminnville, Oregon
          United States
          Member #3013
          December 13, 2003
          2314 Posts
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          Posted: May 31, 2012, 8:33 pm - IP Logged

          One is a chimo or child molester however you slice it he should not be trusted lock him up.  Both of them are losers and drain the state.  Losers big time!!!!!!-weshar75

            JonnyBgood07's avatar - Patriots logo1.jpg
            Connecticut
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            Member #61623
            May 29, 2008
            19373 Posts
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            Posted: May 31, 2012, 8:48 pm - IP Logged

            tea you'll not hear a word out of me.....

             

            but I will include this list of other ideas

            http://www.medievality.com/torture.html

            LOL.!..Judas Cradle it is!

            "...Life is not a matter of holding good cards,but sometimes playing a poor hand well...
            'Fortune Cookie wisdom'

             


              dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
              Oklahoma
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              Member #82391
              November 12, 2009
              5223 Posts
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              Posted: May 31, 2012, 10:21 pm - IP Logged

              This makes me sick to the stomach, especially the pediphile.

              I Love Pink & Green 1908

                Factorem's avatar - candle

                United States
                Member #117708
                October 12, 2011
                109 Posts
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                Posted: May 31, 2012, 11:37 pm - IP Logged

                If you receive welfare, that $ comes from taxpayers,

                and you use that $ to buy lottery, you have, in effect, created a lottery pool,

                w/out the consent of the other contruibuters.

                 

                Guess what, if you win ?

                I own a piece of that .

                as do thousands of others, reducing your win to ZERO.

                Unless you are a sage, which you have not claimed to be and verified to be correct, you would have no knowledge of the source of the money with which the welfare recipient purchased or purchases his/her lottery ticket.

                If the welfare recipient wins, you own absolutely no share of it. There is no net lottery pool created.

                The litany of taxpayer's money that goes to create benefits, in the thousands of dollars, indirectly to many persons in America is extensive, and it is not possible to catalog them all in this post. It suffices to cite at least one: Public schools are mostly made possible by property taxes. A home with no children must still pay property taxes that include money for the public schools. Such homes with no children are not entitled to any claims of money in the future,  from the future earnings of the children that attended the public schools, that his/her tax money helped fund.

                While I do not support any form of fraud, regardless of the preceding qualifying adjective, I am of the strong opinion that the nature of the charges in the main article, is allowed and empowered by the flawed laws in the books, that have been created by the very politicians(aka lawmakers) that the people have sent to represent them.

                If you are really interested and/or committed to the arrest of these problems, among your first action plan tasks, should be: conduct some research on the laws affected, meet with your lawmakers and hand each of them a written statement of the law that you want to see put in place, exactly the way you want it to be.

                If you cannot do the above, you must consider yourself implicitly complicit in the frauds, by your non-action, and have in-effect tendered a quiet and latent vote of incontrovertible support, and implicit statement that you are now on-standby with eager anticipation, to read the next article on welfare fraud and lottery, which from history is inevitably expected to happen again and again and again.

                  Avatar
                  EAST COAST, USA
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                  January 31, 2007
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                  Posted: June 1, 2012, 4:20 am - IP Logged

                  States need to follow NC example.  They run your name through state agencies to see if you owe any local bills, taxes, child support or just about anything relating to the government.  You have to pay up first.  I'm going to check and see if this also applies to government benefits today unless someone here already knows.

                    dpoly1's avatar - driver
                    PA
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                    October 16, 2008
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                    Posted: June 1, 2012, 10:03 am - IP Logged

                    This is what the welfare system breeds!
                    Entitlements are not Constitutional prerogatives!

                    dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

                     

                    Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

                      luckyshoes's avatar - scenery water_mountains.jpg
                      Sea Lifes Beauty
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                      Posted: June 1, 2012, 10:31 am - IP Logged

                      States need to follow NC example.  They run your name through state agencies to see if you owe any local bills, taxes, child support or just about anything relating to the government.  You have to pay up first.  I'm going to check and see if this also applies to government benefits today unless someone here already knows.

                      Excellent Idea, Bev

                      Children who are born into happy families grow up speaking love as their native language.

                        tntea's avatar - Lottery-059.jpg

                        United States
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                        June 30, 2004
                        23622 Posts
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                        Posted: June 2, 2012, 10:48 am - IP Logged

                        This makes me sick to the stomach, especially the pediphile.

                        Makes me sick and MAD...

                        To spend your money on lottery tickets while other people feed you...

                         

                        If you have money for lottery tickets, cigs, beer, etc.  You don't need public assistance..

                        You shouldn't even be getting food stamps..

                        People are so dang idiots.. They haven't a clue to what others think of them..

                        No No  And this man is messying with children...  HANG THIS FOOL

                             OLD/Vtrac   Lottery Bible         Double Warnings      Thumbs Up TN F34/F44

                          tntea's avatar - Lottery-059.jpg

                          United States
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                          June 30, 2004
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                          Posted: June 2, 2012, 10:50 am - IP Logged

                          States need to follow NC example.  They run your name through state agencies to see if you owe any local bills, taxes, child support or just about anything relating to the government.  You have to pay up first.  I'm going to check and see if this also applies to government benefits today unless someone here already knows.

                          If a person wins any money on lottery, they should have to start paying back the public assistance they have received in the past.   Some people will never get it paid back.. and probably would quit playing the lottery.

                               OLD/Vtrac   Lottery Bible         Double Warnings      Thumbs Up TN F34/F44

                            maximumfun's avatar - Lottery-064.jpg

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                            March 16, 2012
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                            Posted: June 3, 2012, 12:48 am - IP Logged

                            tea you'll not hear a word out of me.....

                             

                            but I will include this list of other ideas

                            http://www.medievality.com/torture.html

                            Lottery Post is one of the most informative websites around.  No where else would I find such 'spice' for the water-cooler-brigade.  Thanks!  (and these felons should be wearing pink undies and eating orange balony sandwiches!)