W. Pa. man pleads in bizarre lottery tax case

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A southwestern Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to having more than 40 people cash in Big 4 lottery tickets worth $520,000 so that he could avoid paying federal income tax on the winnings.

Sixty-nine-year-old Sherman Friend faces a likely sentence of between 12 and 18 months in federal prison when he's sentenced Feb. 15 on the tax evasion charge he pleaded guilty to Friday before a federal judge in Pittsburgh.

The government says Friend paid each of the people who cashed winning tickets for him roughly 10 percent of his winnings and that he failed to pay more than $132,000 in federal income tax on the $481,000 in winnings that he cleared.

Authorities say the winning tickets were Friend's primary source of income.