McClellandtown man sentenced for evading taxes on lottery winnings

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A McClellandtown man who pleaded guilty to evading taxes on lottery winnings was sentenced today to a year and a day of prison.

Sherman W. Friend, 71, also faces a restitution order of $132,445 and a $3,000 fine under the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nelson P. Cohen prosecuted the case and said Friend resisted paying the IRS after he won a car in a raffle, but eventually settled with the government.

When he won $520,000 through the lottery in 2009 after buying 208 winning tickets, he set out not to pay taxes, according to U.S. Attorney David Hickton's press release.

Friend distributed the winning tickets to 40 people, "most of whom were unemployed and destitute," and paid most of them $250 per ticket to redeem them and give him the balance.

As a result, those individuals were taxed on the winnings and Friend did not pay taxes on the balance he kept.

The IRS criminal investigation division conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution.

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Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1542 and on Twitter: @richelord.


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