This story could possibly fall into that category, but it may all work itself out in the end.
Two brothers in New York are being charged with attempted grand larceny and conspiracy after they waited six years to claimed a $5 million lottery scratch-off ticket. Waiting that long isn’t an issue in NYC, but it probably triggered an investigation that resulted in their charges.
Apparently the two scammed the ticket from a customer at their family’s convenience store in Syracuse, N.Y., which is the reason they held on to it til the very last day to claim the multi-million dollar prize!
Details + Mugshots below…
Andy Ashkar, 34 and his brother 36 year old Navel now face charges after presenting a $5 million dollar lottery ticket to lotto officials in NYC.
According to ABCNews:
Andy Ashkar, 34, still claims that he brought the winning ticket himself in 2006 at his family’s store where he also worked. Ashkar had said that he waited six years to split the money with his brother, 36-year-old Nayel, because he worried the cash would negatively affect his engagement to his girlfriend.
“I would have hoped that at some point in the last six years he would be convinced that she did marry him for love,” District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said Tuesday.
The two brothers were arrested Tuesday and if convicted Andy Ashkar could face up to 25 years for felony criminal possession and stolen property. Nayel Ashkar could face 15 years for grand larceny and conspiracy to commit fraud.
Fitzpatrick says the real winner is a hard-working, 49-year-old married father of two who authorities are calling John Doe. Lottery officials were suspicious of the brothers from the start because of how much time elapsed before they came forward, according to Fitzpatrick.
Andy Ashkar waited till the very last minute to claim the prize in March. He told lottery officials he would take a lesser amount if they could avoid the usual lottery news conference to announce the winners.
Suspicious lottery officials, in hopes that the real winner would come forward, put out a detailed press release that the brothers won the $5 million prize, Fitzpatrick said.
Authorities knew about the true winner from a Syracuse police officer who picked up information about him on the street, according to The Associated Press.
John Doe had been fooled into giving the ticket to the brothers in October 2006 because he was confused by the number of zeroes on the ticket.
“He wasn’t thinking clearly at the time,” Fitzpatrick said of winner’s initial reading of the ticket. “He says to a buddy he won $5,000. The friend says, `No, I think you won $5 million,’ and he says, `No, it couldn’t be.'”
Police say that Andy Ashkar, who was behind the counter, told the man that he won $5,000 as opposed to the $5 million, and offered to pay him $4,000 on the spot to avoid taxes and other complications. John Doe took the deal on the spot, according to police.
“For six years he has lived a very pedestrian life struggling and working hard. I would be just thrilled to death – his life just completely changed around,” Fitzpatrick said.
Bob Durr, the lawyer for the brothers, said they will plead not guilty.
According to reports, the real winner, aka “John Doe,” tells authorities that he’s always had this nagging feeling that he was cheated by the brothers. He’s expected to come forward soon and receive the $5 million prize… six years in the making.
So the story has a happy ending… but this is still reason #48976 why you should Double… Triple… Quadruple check your lottery ticket! You too could already be a winner!
Are you surprised by the actions of the conniving convenience store clerks?