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Judgement in $5 Million Stolen Lotto Ticket
Wednesday May 1, 2013 : $5 MILL LOTTERY CASE JUDGMENT HANDED DOWN (Update)
Conspiracy charges defeated, but one brother found guilty of possession of stolen property
The trial of two brothers accused of fraudulently obtaining a lottery ticket worth $5 million and then attempting to cash it six years later has ended in Syracuse, New York.
35-year-old Andy Ashkar was found by Onondaga County Court Judge Joseph Fahey to be guilty of being in possession of the stolen lottery ticket, but the conspiracy charges against him and brother Nayet (37) were dropped.
However, The Ashkars' father, Nayef, who owns the store that sold the ticket remains charged with conspiracy. He has a separate trial scheduled for September this year.
The court heard evidence that the Ashkar brothers convinced Robert Miles, the original purchaser of the $5 million lottery ticket, that it was worth only $5,000 when Miles bought it in 2006. Prosecutors led evidence that the brothers paid Miles $4,000, took a $1,000 handling fee, then waited until the ticket was about to expire before trying to claim the jackpot in 2012.
Andy Ashkar claimed that he had bought the winning ticket for $20 at his father's convenience store. He immediately scratched it and saw the big win, but his father cautioned him to remain silent, and only produced it to the lottery for payment six years later, just before it was due to expire, because he feared for the safety of his family.
Miles claimed that the brothers took advantage of him, because he was not thinking clearly after a crack cocaine binge the night before.
Andy Ashkar faces one to three years in prison when he is sentenced on May 29.
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