Long Island’s “lottery lawyer” will head to trial next month on charges he ran a mobbed-up scheme to bilk jackpot winners — and his butt-lift doctor brother-in-law could testify against him in a deal with the feds.
Cosmetic surgeon Scott Blyer would tell jurors that he allegedly helped relative Jason Kurland — who is accused of swindling more than $100 million in prize money — hide “large amounts of income” in a separate tax evasion scheme.
Blyer — a Long Island plastic surgeon whose Instagram account advertises Brazilian butt-lifts and a $5,000 “summer sale” on breast augmentation — also invested in firms that Kurland and reputed Genovese crime family soldier Christopher Chierchio allegedly used to steal from lottery winners, prosecutors say.
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Blyer’s testimony was discussed in court filings last week — identified by prosecutors only as Kurland’s “brother-in-law.”
He is expected to testify to the inner workings of the alleged fraud, and how he “invested” his money in Kurland’s mob scheme in order to hide it from the IRS.
Kurland allegedly helped save his brother-in-law some $300,000, returning the money to him after catching wind that the feds were poking around his investments.
After Kurland was arrested in 2020, the prosecutors wrote, he advised Blyer that he could use a “false advertising contract” to explain the deposits into his bank account.
When Blyer, asked “how to explain the varying deposit amounts,” Kurland advised he “could indicate that there was a high volume of advertising that month,” the prosecutors wrote.
Kurland also apparently told his brother-in-law that “telling the truth” and “invoking the Fifth Amendment” were viable options.
It is unclear whether Blyer pleaded guilty to any charges prior to his apparent cooperation with the government.
Kurland allegedly cultivated lottery-winning clients from across the nation, including a $1.5 billion Mega Millions winner, and promised to invest their winnings — but instead threw their cash into shady investments run by Chierchio and two other associates.
Kurland allegedly got kickbacks for steering the money to the reputed mobster and his partners, who funneled a portion of the lottery winners’ money back to them under the guise of “interest payments” on their phony investments.
But the bulk of the money instead funded the scammers’ lavish lifestyles — which included pricey vacations, private jets and even two yachts, the feds claim.
Two other accused scammers, former securities broker Francis Smookler, 45, and 38-year-old Frangesco Russo, pleaded guilty and struck cooperation agreements following charges stemming from allegations they threatened a Gregory Altieri, a jeweler they’d floated a $250,000 “street loan.”
Russo and Smookler, who expected Altieri to repay $400,000, then resorted to threatening the jeweler and his family for the repayment, the feds alleged.
“They’re gonna pop your head off in front of your f–king kids,” Russo is allegedly heard telling Altieri on a federal wiretap. “This guy has no clue what he’s getting into.”
A spokesman for the Southern District of New York, which is prosecuting the case, said it could not confirm that Blyer would be called to the stand, saying that no witness list had yet been made public in the case.
The trial is expected to start in mid-July.
Jerry Capeci is the editor of Ganglandnews.com