Risk Update

Financial Risk Matters — “Lottery Lawyer” Conflict, Dam Bribe Conflict Concerns

SDNY Takes Over ‘Lottery Lawyer’ Case Due To EDNY Conflict” —

  • “Federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York are taking over the case accusing the “Lottery Lawyer” of defrauding clients out of millions of dollars from the Eastern District of New York in light of a conflict due to the marriage of the acting EDNY U.S. attorney and a lawyer for the former Rivkin Radler partner.”
  • “The recently appointed acting EDNY U.S. attorney, Jacquelyn Kasulis, is married to Telemachus “Tim” Kasulis of Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC, a lawyer for attorney Jason Kurland, who stands accused of offering investment opportunities to his lottery winner clients without disclosing kickbacks he received in exchange for the referrals.”
  • “Prior to her appointment to acting U.S. attorney, Jacquelyn Kasulis served as chief assistant U.S. attorney and chief of EDNY’s criminal division. She had been recused from the case due to her husband’s representation of Kurland. Elbert will continue as a prosecutor on the case, she said, but supervision of the matter will be handled by the higher-ups at SDNY.”
  • “Kurland advised some of the biggest jackpot winners in recent history on how to stay anonymous, handle the media, and collect and invest their winnings. He would stand beside his clients or stand in for them at news conferences… According to prosecutors, Kurland’s three clients invested $107 million with entities involved in the scheme, and more than $80 million of that was stolen or lost between 2018 and 2020… Kurland faces six counts of wire fraud, eight counts of honest services fraud, and a count each of money laundering and conspiracy.”

For more of the story here, see ABC’s piece: “‘Lottery Lawyer’ allegedly swindled jackpot winners in $107M scheme

Conflict of interest fears in Warragamba Dam probe” —

  • “An investigation into allegations that traditional owners were offered bribes in exchange for their support for raising the Warragamba Dam wall was handled by a law firm with links to WaterNSW, raising major concerns of a conflict of interest.”
  • “Traditional owner Kazan Brown told the hearing Registered Aboriginal Parties were offered inducements, including access to culturally significant sites and employment offers, in exchange for supporting the project.”
  • “The allegations sparked an “independent” internal investigation, with WaterNSW engaging Melbourne-based law firm Sparke Helmore Lawyers to provide legal advice. The report found ‘no bribe or inducement was offered to her for her support of the project.'”
  • “Sparke Helmore, however, previously employed WaterNSW corporate lawyer regulatory & compliance Daniella Zuvela, raising concerns about the investigation, which was supposed to be undertaken at arms-length from the government agency.”
  • “One of the leading critics of the Warragamba Dam raising, Colong Foundation general manager Harry Burkitt, said the revelation raised concerns of a conflict of interest in the investigation, which ‘marred the findings’ of the ‘supposedly independent process.'”
  • “A spokesman for WaterNSW said: ‘WaterNSW selected the legal firm to undertake the investigation from among the law firms registered on the NSW Government Legal Services Panel. The ­selection process was consistent with the panel’s rules.'”