one year firm required against “Jojo the king of the lottery”

one year firm required against “Jojo the king of the lottery”
one year firm required against “Jojo the king of the lottery”

HAS Bacalan where he officiated up to three times a week in a party room overlooked by the Aquitaine Bridge, he was a real star. The fame of “Jojo the king of the lottery” had gone far beyond the Bordeaux area. An accomplished gambler, Jonathan Laulan had made the organization of lottos a lucrative business. This Monday, June 24, he had to explain himself before the Bordeaux Criminal Court. “I had the lure of gain,” he admits on the stand where he is responsible for organizing illegal gambling, embezzlement, money laundering and tax evasion.

4.5 million euros in revenue

In France, the organization of lotos is prohibited. Only lotteries organized by non-professionals and occasionally, in a restricted circle, and only for altruistic causes are tolerated, as an exception. Has “Jojo” happily crossed the red line supposed to prevent a village association from being transformed into a casino?

“You indicated having organized nearly 400 lotteries in four years,” explains President Cyril Vidalie. Amount of revenue? Around 4.5 million euros… According to investigators from customs and the central racing and games service (SCCJ), no more than 593,000 euros were paid to the associations announced as beneficiaries. The defendant estimates this amount at 700,000 euros for the amount paid. “It’s still barely 13%. Whereas you received 1.5 million, almost twice as much,” chokes the judge. “We have loads, with large prizes,” replies the defendant. Jojo’s lottery winnings? Cars, trips, vouchers worth 10,000 euros…

Thanks to confinement, Jojo is developing his activity on social networks and organizing streaming lottos. “Followers” ​​mandated by other players to participate remotely were included in the evenings. “Our inner circle was the followers on Twitch,” slips Jojo. “We are far from the restricted circle,” objects the president.

The funds passed through several associations of which the “lotto king” was either the president or the treasurer. The most important, “À coeur perdu”, was created upon the death of his father in order to collect donations for the Bergonié Institute (specializing in the treatment of cancer). “At the beginning, we did one lottery per month. Then we went to two. But when I got on Twitch, they didn’t want to follow me. But the League Against Cancer followed,” assures Jojo.

“He created an association whose corporate purpose is to donate funds to the CHU, but the CHU has never received a single cent”

On the bench of civil parties, the pill is bitter. The CHU and the Bergonié Institute accuse the lotto king of having used their image to organize lottos via associations which displayed their links with these institutions. “He created an association whose social purpose is to donate funds to the CHU, but the CHU has never received a single cent from these hundreds of organized lotteries,” says Me Gabriel Lassort who demands from the defendant 300,000 euros for the CHU and the same for the Bergonié Institute.

52 lotteries per year

“The tolerance is two to three lotteries per year. We are at least at 52! », squeaks the customs representative who estimates at 1.5 million euros the amount of tax evaded in this company which had exempted itself from any declaration. The administration is therefore demanding a fine of 1.5 million euros. And so many penalties…

“We are not in the football club lottery,” notes prosecutor Perrine Lannelongue, who believes that the associations created by the defendant served to conceal the final destination of the sums. Namely Jojo’s personal accounts, fears the magistrate who is asking for 30 months in prison, including 18 months with a probationary suspension for the defendant and his partner prosecuted for having participated in the small business.

“The associations were perfectly informed. He had a real talent for organizing these lotteries, that’s why they came to look for him,” thinks Me Louise Durin, the first lawyer for the defendants. The second defender, Me Arnaud Dupin assures that he has redone the accounts and that a large part of the turnover was absorbed by costs. “I take the example of a lottery which generated 89,000 euros in revenue. 11,000 euros were donated to the association but also 51,000 euros committed for the prizes and 27,000 for the service providers. » The lawyer continues: “He had know-how. Associations are forced to turn to service providers. If an artist had come and taken a big fee, no one would have said anything! »

Deliberated on August 9.

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