On August 18th, “Lottery Lawyer” Jason Kurland was busted along with Christopher Chierchio, a reputed soldier for the Genovese Crime Family.
Jason Kurland was a partner at the prestigious Long Island law firm Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman before his employment was terminated (after he was indicted). Jason Kurland advertised himself as the “Lottery Lawyer.” Jason represented many lottery winners throughout the country over the years with billions of dollars in combined winnings. Lottery winners gave Kurland and his law firm their lottery winnings so that Jason could advise them on how to safely invest their money.
“Two years in Federal prison can feel like 20 years if you are a rat.”LARRY NOODLES
Jason Kurland Got In Deep with the Mob
Kurland steered them into entities and accounts controlled by street thugs Frangesco Russo also known as “Frankie,” Francis Smookler also known as “Frank” and Christopher Chierchio. Kurland got kickbacks from Frankie, Frank and Chierchio, who also got indicted by the Feds.
Kurland encouraged his clients to invest in entities controlled by Christopher Chierchio, a reputed soldier of the Genovese Crime Family.
Jason Kurland lived the high life with his co-conspirators. They spent Jason’s client’s lottery winnings on private jets, expensive vacations, real estate, luxury vehicles and yachts. The yachts were docked at their waterfront luxury North Miami house which was under contract to be sold for $1.5 million at the time they got busted. Kirland and his associates must have known that the Feds were on their tail and tried to sell their Miami house before they got indicted. The Feds put the kibosh on that transaction and got a court order to have the proceeds from that transaction get paid to the United States Marshal.
The Kurland gang could have stayed under the radar had they not expanded their criminal activities into loan sharking. Kurland and his gang lent a quarter mil to a shady Long Island jeweler named Gregory Altieri. Jason Kirland lent Gregory Altieri $250K at 100% interest. Altieri defaulted on the $250K 100% interest self described “street loan.” After Altieri defaulted Kirland’s co-conspirators Frankie, Frank and Chris threatened Altieri with bodily harm. Kirland’s associates told Altieri that they had tactical shotguns with lasers.
They compared themselves to the mobster loan sharks in the movie “Uncut Gems” who whacked a diamond dealer who couldn’t pay off his debt. They told Altieri, “We’re gonna pop your head off in front of your f—— kids. You watch my man, you f—–d me, now watch what I am gonna do to you, I’m coming brother. Full f—–g steam ahead. We are gonna find your wife today. That’s happening. The people coming for you are going to make you watch as they rip your son’s teeth out of his mouth, watch, they’re going to do worse things to your wife.”
At the time Altieri was being threatened Kirland didn’t realize that Altieri was under Federal investigation for operating a $200 million Ponzi scheme. Altieri solicited investors from Queens, Staten Island, and Long Island to purchase jewelry at “closeout” prices and then resell it at a high profit. Altieri promised returns of 70 percent in a matter of months. Altieri used new investors’ money to pay earlier investors, telling them they were receiving returns on their investments. Eventually, Altieri couldn’t make any more return payments to investors and his Ponzi scheme collapsed. Investors reported him to the Feds. The Feds investigated and wiretapped Altieri’s phone. The Feds listened to Kurland’s gang threaten to kill Altieri.
The Feds indicted Altieri in July of 2020. Kirland tried to unload the North Miami waterfront property shortly thereafter. The Feds busted Kirland and his gang just before they had a chance to cash in. I was locked up with some of the biggest white collar criminals in the tri-State region in Otisville Federal prison. Guys who commit massive financial fraud never think ahead. They never consider that they may get caught. They buy expensive assets that can easily be confiscated by the Federal government.
Its too early to tell whether the Feds will offer a favorable plea agreement to Altieri in exchange for Altieri ratting out the Kirland gang. The Feds could offer the Kirland gang a deal to rat out Altieri. Or the Feds could just prosecute the two cases without the use of any snitches. A Federal prosecution without the use of rats is unheard of. US Attorneys are lost without a rat on the witness stand doing all the work for them. Prosecution witnesses will say anything in order to avoid jail. You can’t believe a word they say. You can’t believe the defendant either. The defendant will say anything to avoid jail. You can’t believe the lawyers either. In short, you can’t believe most people who testify in a criminal trial.
The Prison Subculture
The prison subculture is not kind to prosecution witnesses who turn on their former friends and co-conspirators. Two years in Federal prison can feel like 20 years if you are a rat. The other guys look up your criminal file before you turn yourself into prison in order to determine if you are a rat. Most guys who assist prosecutors in Federal cases get a year or two in jail. Some get a walk. If you end up in jail the other guys will harass you to no end. Guys who are doing 10 years because someone ratted them out will take out their anger on other rats in the clink.
My Life In Otisville
I was convicted of being part of a mortgage fraud conspiracy. I was one of a few closing lawyers. I didn’t do much other than deposit checks and prepare paperwork. I didn’t know much about what was going on behind the scenes with false loan applications, false appraisals and inflated property values. The guys who ran the conspiracy cashed in on each closing for almost $50K a closing while I made nominal closing fees. Regardless of your limited role in the conspiracy the criminal law treats you the same as the other co-conspirators. Everyone is jointly liable for the entire crime, which exposed me to many years in prison.
Luckily I only got 20 months in Otisville, the prison where Trump’s rat Michael Cohen did his time. The prosecutors told me that five other guys were going to testify against me at trial and that they would cut me a break if I ratted out a couple of other closing attorneys. The US Attorneys would not agree to drop the charges against me. They wanted me to plead guilty to a felony. I had nothing to gain by ratting anyone out, plus I had nothing on the other attorneys.
When I self surrendered into Otisville Federal prison I quickly realized that it was no fun to be a rat in prison. Rats constantly got harassed and intimidated by the other inmates. Guys offered rats plates of cheese in the prison mess hall. Prison life is stressful enough as it is without having the added stress of being tormented on a daily basis by other inmates for being a rat. Sometimes rats have to be locked up in solitary confinement for their own protection. The guards can’t protect rats from violence. If an inmate punches you in the face there is no way you are going to rat out the inmate who punched you.
In Otisville Federal prison there was a high-security unit that housed high profile rat inmates, called the J-unit. The guys in the other units in Otisville referred to the guys in the J unit as “J-rats.” These inmates snitched out big-time mobsters and drug dealers. The guards don’t even know their names. They are identified by numbers. The entire unit is built like a college dorm. No cages or bars are on the windows. The inmates have private rooms and real beds. These are the benefits of being a snitch.
Kurland Represented By Telemachus Kasulis of Morvillo Abramowitz
Jason Kurland is being represented by former US Attorney and now defense attorney Telemachus P. Kasulis, who works for the massive law firm of Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC. Kasulis used to work in the US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York and prosecuted guys like Jason Kurland. Kasulis switched sides and now defends the bad guys. The US Attorney – big law firm revolving door offers big cash rewards to attorneys who follow the script. The first step in the script is to graduate from an Ivy League law school. Kasulis graduated from Yale.
The next step is to land a job with the US Attorney’s Office. There are plenty of jobs waiting for Ivy League graduates at the Department of Justice. The next step is to work in the US Attorney’s Office on a “big” white-collar cases that get a lot of press. The reason the case is “big” is that the US Attorney’s Office issues press releases telling the media that the case is big. The US Attorney inflates loss numbers in order to make the case appear even “bigger.”
Kasulis worked on a “big” case when he was a US Attorney. The bio on Kasulis’ law firm website says that he prosecuted “former Central Intelligence Agency employee David Riley and the prosecution of David Murcia Guzman, referred to in the press as the Bernie Madoff of Colombia, and several confederates for running an international money laundering enterprise.” Big deal. FBI agents do all the work. All Kasulis has to do is negotiate a plea agreement or take it to trial. The trial is prepped by an army of special agents, law clerks, law students and legal secretaries. All Kasulis has to do is sit in court and read from a script. I could train a monkey to be a lawyer. The only real work for Kasulis is putting on a tie.
The final step in the US Attorney – big law firm big bucks revolving door is to look for a big New York law firm that will hire you at a starting salary of between $250-500K a year. Once you are hired your law firm will promote you as someone who has connections in the US Attorney’s Office and can get you off. Your legal defense bill will be one million dollars. Don’t fall for it. The lawyers are bigger scammers than the criminals whom they represent. I was locked up with some of the wealthiest criminals in the tri-State region. I knew guys who paid their attorneys one million dollars just to negotiate a plea deal. As an attorney, I was shocked. I told them to sue their lawyers and get a refund. They didn’t care about the money. A million dollars is nothing to a guy who is worth tens of millions. What upset them most was the dishonesty of their lawyers.
Jason Kurland posted a bond secured by property owned by himself, his wife and his in-laws. Jason cannot travel outside of the five boroughs and Long Island. A few days after he got indicted Jason’s attorney filed a request that Jason be allowed to travel to New Jersey with his wife and three children so that his children could compete in a soccer tournament. His travel request was denied by Federal Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis.
Jason’s brother in law Dr. Scott Blyer signed Jason’s bond guaranteeing that Jason will return to court and not flee from justice. Dr. Blyer is a plastic surgeon. Jason dragged his wife, young children, and in-laws into his tawdry mess of financial fraud, loan sharks, and budding mobsters. Dr. Blyer specializes in Brazilian butt lifts. Dr. Blyer could have reconstructed Jason’s face so that Jason could skip town and live on the lam. Jason would never skip town. Jason is a family man. Jason has a brother who works as an attorney in Washington DC for the Department of Justice in the area of commercial litigation. Jason could ask his brother to put in a good word for him with the Attorney General. Forget it! Jason will get a one-way ticket to Otisville. The Kurland gang could have stayed under the radar had they not expanded their criminal activities into loan sharking. Greed is not good when it comes to leading a life of crime.