Saturday, November 17, 2012
A maintenance worker, Robert Miles, and his wife recently won a $5 million scratch-off lottery ticket. Unfortunately, two brothers, Andy and Nayel Askhar from Syracuse, scammed them out of the ticket. When Miles won the jackpot, he took it to the market and was lied to by Andy Ashkar after he scanned the ticket. Ashkar told Miles that the ticket's true value was $5,000, and gave him $4,000 after assessing a $1,000 cash-in fee. Reportedly, Ashkar then took the ticket and immediately bolted out the door to cash the winning. Miles was confused about the tickets true value and failed to give chase. Furthermore, Miles admitted that he had used crack cocaine the night prior and did not feel well enough to chase after Ashkar.
Even though he had a legitimate claim, Miles refused to go to the authorities because he claimed that would be his word against Askhar's word. He finally came forward after being persuaded by a police officer. Now, both Askhar brothers are charged with "attempted grand larceny and possession of stolen property." The Lottery Division has also taken measures against the store where the brother's worked. The store happened to belong to the brothers' parents. The Division has prohibited them from selling lottery tickets, at least until the investigation is completed.
See Associated Press, NY Man Who Claims $5M Lottery Scam Faced Debts, Yahoo!, Nov. 16, 2012.
Special thanks to David S. Luber (Attorney at law, Florida Probate Attorney Wills and Estates Law Firm) for bringing this article to my attention.