Winnipeg man who won lottery in 2019 now at centre of criminal forfeiture claim for 3 homes, car

The province’s criminal property forfeiture director has filed a lawsuit against a previous Lotto 6/49 winner and members of his family, in an attempt to seize assets valued around $1.72 million.

The statement of claim alleges three homes, a luxury vehicle and jewelry were purchased and kept up with money obtained via illegal drug activity, according to a statement of claim filed in the Court of King’s Bench on Feb. 1.

Khalaf Shammo, 26, cashed a $1-million winning lottery ticket in January 2019. Shammo, his parents and four siblings are named in the lawsuit, as is a Winnipeg bank. None of the defendants have yet to file a statement of defence.

Shammo is listed as the sole owner of two of the homes — in Bridgwater and Richmond West — the province is trying to seize. One of Shammo’s brothers co-owns a third home in Fairfield Park.

Trafficking investigation

Last July, Winnipeg police launched an investigation drug trafficking they believed was happening out of Shammo’s Bridgwater home.

The statement of claim outlines Shammo’s alleged drug trafficking transactions throughout the city in 2022, including three on Oct. 30, six on Nov. 8 and three more on Nov. 16.

Police arrested one of Shammo’s siblings during a traffic stop, and went to the Bridgwater home on Nov. 18 with a search warrant. Officers arrested Shammo and another sibling at the house, the statement of claim said.

The raid yielded a box with 12 pieces of jewelry as well as sums of Canadian and US cash located throughout the home. Piles of money were bundled and secured with elastic bands, including in multiple safes.

Seven of those piles of cash “were packaged in a way that is consistent with trafficking controlled substances,” the statement of claim said.

Over $570,000 Cdn and just over $5,000 US in cash was seized in total. 

Cash linked to investigations: Police

No drugs were seized in the search, but police analyzed the cash found in the home using a currency reading and tracing system.

“Sixteen of the bills came back with ‘hits’ related to previous drug trafficking investigations,” the claim says.

The statement of claim alleges that no members of the Shammo family named in the lawsuit have legitimate sources of employment income. Shammo’s parents have collected provincial employment and income assistance almost exclusively since May 2001, while Shammo has no known employment, the claim said.

The lawsuit alleges the defendants took part in unlawful activity such as possessing and trafficking controlled substances, possessing and trafficking controlled substances with proceeds obtained by crime, and using the properties and vehicle to launder money from the drug operation.

The province is attempting to seize all three homes, a 2021 Mercedes Benz sport utility vehicle registered to Shammo, the jewelry and all the funds in Shammo’s bank accounts.

The homes’ combined assessed values, as of 2021, are just over $1.52 million, while the luxury vehicle was purchased for nearly $200,000.

The allegations in the lawsuit haven’t been proven in court.

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