- The Indian American gained attention in 2018 when his store sold a $1.5 billion Mega Millions lottery ticket.
An Indian American owner of a convenience store in South Carolina was arrested last week for tax evasion. The South Carolina Department of Revenue says Chirag Jayanti Patel, 49, of Simpsonville, was charged with five counts of tax evasion.
If convicted, Patel faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000 per count, plus the cost of prosecution. He is being held in the Greenville County Detention Center pending a bond hearing.
As per the South Carolina Department of Revenue press release, Patel, who operates KCP, Inc., doing business as KC Mart, underreported his taxable sales each year from 2013 through 2017. He failed to report a total of $2,044,737 in sales, evading $123,044 in Sales Tax.
In October 2018, Patel gained attention when his store sold a $1.5 billion Mega Millions lottery ticket. The winner of the jackpot declined to be identified and was decreed in media reports as a South Carolina woman who was visiting Greenville County. She opted to get a lump-sum payment of $877,784,124, officials announced in March 2019. South Carolina is one of eight states that do not require public identification of lottery winners.
Patel told local media at the time that KC Mart was to receive $50,000 for selling the winning ticket. “It’s a lucky store for me and them, too,” Patel said at the time. He told WYFF News 4 that he would split the $50,000 he got for selling the winning ticket among his four employees.
Last year, Jason Kurland, the lawyer who represented the woman, was indicted on federal charges in 2020 and accused of more than $100 million in fraud — including against the lottery winner. Citing court documents, Greenville News reported that prosecutors alleged Kurland took $60 million of the Simpsonville ticket winner’s money for investments from which he derived a personal benefit. He is also accused “of transferring $19.5 million from the lottery winner’s account without permission or consent,” the report said.