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NY brothers charged in plot to steal $5M New York Lottery ticket

New York LotteryNew York Lottery: NY brothers charged in plot to steal $5M New York Lottery ticket
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They waited until shortly before the $5 million winning ticket in a scratch-off lottery game would have been worthless. Then, when two brothers from the Syracuse area went to claim the prize, they made an unusual offer: They told state lottery officials that they would be happy to take home less than the full amount if they could avoid a news conference.

(See NY brothers claim $5M win from '06 lottery ticket, Lottery Post, Oct. 17, 2012.)

The officials made them wait some more, saying a security check had to be completed before the big payday.

But "security check" turned out to be another name for an investigation that ultimately led to the brothers' arrest on Tuesday on larceny and other charges. The authorities said the two brothers had tricked the actual winner, a customer at their parents' convenience store.

The brothers — Andy Ashkar, 34, and Nayel Ashkar, 36 — were charged with attempted grand larceny and conspiracy. The Onondaga County district attorney, William J. Fitzpatrick, said in a statement that Andy Ashkar was also charged with criminal possession of stolen property, the ticket in the "$500 Million Extravaganza" game, sold in October 2006.

Andy Ashkar told the buyer at the time that it was only a $5,000 winner and, after pocketing $1,000 as a "fee," gave the man $4,000, according to the statement from Mr. Fitzpatrick.

Mr. Fitzpatrick said in the statement that when the Ashkars went to the lottery's headquarters in Schenectady in March of this year, they were told they would have to wait for the "security check."

The next milestone mentioned in Mr. Fitzpatrick's statement was an article last month in The Post-Standard of Syracuse about the Ashkars and the winning ticket — a story Mr. Fitzpatrick said "was actually put out by the lottery security division in an effort to have the real winner come forward." Other news outlets including The Associated Press also carried the report, based on a news release from the lottery's communications office.

John Lammers, the enterprise editor of The Post-Standard, said the newspaper assigned two reporters to the story because the editors wondered why the lottery had disclosed so much in a news release. Usually, he said, the lottery waits to announce a winner's identity at a news conference.

"Nobody put a fast one over on us," he said. "We were suspicious of this from the get-go. Something was going on.

"We put it on the front page because of all the red flags, and our readers got it immediately."

The lottery's news release said Andy Ashkar had bought the ticket but had waited to redeem it "out of concern that the winning ticket could negatively influence his life if he did not plan properly before being publicly introduced."

"Most notably," the news release said, "Ashkar said he did not want the winning ticket to influence his engagement and subsequent marriage." The release also said that Andy Ashkar wanted to share the money with his brother "to show his appreciation for all that Nayel had done for him during his life."

Carolyn Hapeman, a spokeswoman for the lottery, said at the time that it was "unusual" for the lottery "to send out a prerelease about an upcoming winner event." The news release said the lottery "requires" players who win $1 million or more to attend a news conference.

"We've been getting a lot of calls about this particular ticket and these individuals," she said on Oct. 17, "and rather than anybody question 'Is it true? Is it true?' we sent out what we know thus far." On Tuesday, she referred questions about the case to Mr. Fitzpatrick's office.

His statement said the false release had served its purpose; the real winner had come forward "and will hopefully be awarded his actual winnings pending the conclusion of the case against the Ashkar brothers."

There was no answer at the Ashkar family's store or at their homes.

As for the real winner, the authorities did not release his name.

NY Times

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223 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by rdgrnr.
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Windermere, FL/Franklin, TN
United States
Member #50210
March 1, 2007
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Posted: November 14, 2012, 8:19 am - IP Logged

Just unbelievable! their entire story was skeptical from the start.


    United States
    Member #111446
    May 25, 2011
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    Posted: November 14, 2012, 8:25 am - IP Logged

    All's well that ends well.    Lover

      Nikkicute's avatar - nnjx1k
      RIGHT HERE!!
      United States
      Member #123295
      February 17, 2012
      1888 Posts
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      Posted: November 14, 2012, 8:40 am - IP Logged

      Don't mess with New York!!!!! lol

       

      Just finished watching Good Morning America, the man who won said he

      was confused by all of the zero's and always felt he was cheated somehow.

       

      You see how GREEDY they were? Said they would give him $5,000 to avoid taxes

      then charged a $1,000 "fee" and gave him $4,000j!!!! $1,000 "fee" for what!!!!

      whoo greed is UGLY!!!!

        Avatar
        Texas
        United States
        Member #132460
        September 4, 2012
        483 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: November 14, 2012, 8:41 am - IP Logged

        This is the saddest thing about cheating, if you are bad and your intentions are bad, you will end up in jail.  These two brothers will just pay what they did...stealing money is still a bad idea.

          Original Bey's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg

          Bahamas
          Member #133467
          September 30, 2012
          4919 Posts
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          Posted: November 14, 2012, 8:42 am - IP Logged

          Yeah he didn't want to ruin his engagement and subsequent marriage to his lovely bride. JAIL would do that to a romance!

          "Everything works  ONCE!"

            Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
            S.E.Iowa
            United States
            Member #120509
            December 21, 2011
            534 Posts
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            Posted: November 14, 2012, 8:42 am - IP Logged

            I wonder if the Ashkars are any relation to the Patel clan?

            When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

            There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers

              OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
              Gurnee, Illinois
              United States
              Member #49731
              February 12, 2007
              835 Posts
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              Posted: November 14, 2012, 8:43 am - IP Logged

              Ronnie316 was the first one in LP to say, "I smell a rat" and "sounds fishy to me". Congrats NY Lottery for catching another fraudulent claim and returning the winnings to the rightful lucky lottery player. I think that winner would be due interest since they should be able to determine the date he/she received the bogus $4,000 payout from the brothers.

              li hate scratchoffs...for me, they have been nothing but worthless pieces of hard card paper.  Got my eye on that $5,000 per Week For Life but I feel better about taking the astronomical odds playing the online games since I don't have to be in the right store at the right time to purchase the right scratch-off game...just let my 6 numbers match and I AM RICH B-YATCH!

              Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

              The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

                Win$500Quick's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                Florida
                United States
                Member #77815
                August 1, 2009
                3163 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: November 14, 2012, 8:48 am - IP Logged

                If it doesn't makke sense, It's not true.

                Breadwinner!


                  United States
                  Member #111446
                  May 25, 2011
                  6323 Posts
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                  Posted: November 14, 2012, 8:50 am - IP Logged

                  Ronnie316 was the first one in LP to say, "I smell a rat" and "sounds fishy to me". Congrats NY Lottery for catching another fraudulent claim and returning the winnings to the rightful lucky lottery player. I think that winner would be due interest since they should be able to determine the date he/she received the bogus $4,000 payout from the brothers.

                  li hate scratchoffs...for me, they have been nothing but worthless pieces of hard card paper.  Got my eye on that $5,000 per Week For Life but I feel better about taking the astronomical odds playing the online games since I don't have to be in the right store at the right time to purchase the right scratch-off game...just let my 6 numbers match and I AM RICH B-YATCH!

                  Ronnie316 was right on the money!  Hurray!

                  Next time I suspect rats are infesting my home, I will be calling him first.  Beaver

                    Nikkicute's avatar - nnjx1k
                    RIGHT HERE!!
                    United States
                    Member #123295
                    February 17, 2012
                    1888 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: November 14, 2012, 8:56 am - IP Logged

                    Ronnie316 was the first one in LP to say, "I smell a rat" and "sounds fishy to me". Congrats NY Lottery for catching another fraudulent claim and returning the winnings to the rightful lucky lottery player. I think that winner would be due interest since they should be able to determine the date he/she received the bogus $4,000 payout from the brothers.

                    li hate scratchoffs...for me, they have been nothing but worthless pieces of hard card paper.  Got my eye on that $5,000 per Week For Life but I feel better about taking the astronomical odds playing the online games since I don't have to be in the right store at the right time to purchase the right scratch-off game...just let my 6 numbers match and I AM RICH B-YATCH!

                    Good shout out to Ronnie316!!!!

                    The brothers said they'd be willing to take less money to avoid a news conference!

                    Seriously? Who does that?


                    As many members here on L.P. worried about remaining anonymous, would you take LESS MONEY

                    just so your name would not get out there? I don't think so!!!! I'd ALL my money and forget about

                    my name in the press!!  Deal with it!!

                      Marconis's avatar - tumblr ll2xh5PKG51qaktw9o1_400.jpg
                      New Member
                      Queens, NYC
                      United States
                      Member #131552
                      August 13, 2012
                      33 Posts
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                      Posted: November 14, 2012, 8:59 am - IP Logged

                      Reading this pissed me off. Poor guy, but at least now he can have some peace of mind. I hope jail goes terribly for them.

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                        florida
                        United States
                        Member #76332
                        June 24, 2009
                        18 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: November 14, 2012, 9:09 am - IP Logged

                        They waited until shortly before the $5 million winning ticket in a scratch-off lottery game would have been worthless. Then, when two brothers from the Syracuse area went to claim the prize, they made an unusual offer: They told state lottery officials that they would be happy to take home less than the full amount if they could avoid a news conference.

                        (See NY brothers claim $5M win from '06 lottery ticket, Lottery Post, Oct. 17, 2012.)

                        The officials made them wait some more, saying a security check had to be completed before the big payday.

                        But "security check" turned out to be another name for an investigation that ultimately led to the brothers' arrest on Tuesday on larceny and other charges. The authorities said the two brothers had tricked the actual winner, a customer at their parents' convenience store.

                        The brothers — Andy Ashkar, 34, and Nayel Ashkar, 36 — were charged with attempted grand larceny and conspiracy. The Onondaga County district attorney, William J. Fitzpatrick, said in a statement that Andy Ashkar was also charged with criminal possession of stolen property, the ticket in the "$500 Million Extravaganza" game, sold in October 2006.

                        Andy Ashkar told the buyer at the time that it was only a $5,000 winner and, after pocketing $1,000 as a "fee," gave the man $4,000, according to the statement from Mr. Fitzpatrick.

                        Mr. Fitzpatrick said in the statement that when the Ashkars went to the lottery's headquarters in Schenectady in March of this year, they were told they would have to wait for the "security check."

                        The next milestone mentioned in Mr. Fitzpatrick's statement was an article last month in The Post-Standard of Syracuse about the Ashkars and the winning ticket — a story Mr. Fitzpatrick said "was actually put out by the lottery security division in an effort to have the real winner come forward." Other news outlets including The Associated Press also carried the report, based on a news release from the lottery's communications office.

                        John Lammers, the enterprise editor of The Post-Standard, said the newspaper assigned two reporters to the story because the editors wondered why the lottery had disclosed so much in a news release. Usually, he said, the lottery waits to announce a winner's identity at a news conference.

                        "Nobody put a fast one over on us," he said. "We were suspicious of this from the get-go. Something was going on.

                        "We put it on the front page because of all the red flags, and our readers got it immediately."

                        The lottery's news release said Andy Ashkar had bought the ticket but had waited to redeem it "out of concern that the winning ticket could negatively influence his life if he did not plan properly before being publicly introduced."

                        "Most notably," the news release said, "Ashkar said he did not want the winning ticket to influence his engagement and subsequent marriage." The release also said that Andy Ashkar wanted to share the money with his brother "to show his appreciation for all that Nayel had done for him during his life."

                        Carolyn Hapeman, a spokeswoman for the lottery, said at the time that it was "unusual" for the lottery "to send out a prerelease about an upcoming winner event." The news release said the lottery "requires" players who win $1 million or more to attend a news conference.

                        "We've been getting a lot of calls about this particular ticket and these individuals," she said on Oct. 17, "and rather than anybody question 'Is it true? Is it true?' we sent out what we know thus far." On Tuesday, she referred questions about the case to Mr. Fitzpatrick's office.

                        His statement said the false release had served its purpose; the real winner had come forward "and will hopefully be awarded his actual winnings pending the conclusion of the case against the Ashkar brothers."

                        There was no answer at the Ashkar family's store or at their homes.

                        As for the real winner, the authorities did not release his name.

                        Like i said back then " Ticket no good, i throw away for you " and i was castigated by factorem for being a "racist" ok Mr Factorem , where are you now, show your face. I rest my case......

                        never take advise from someone unless you are willing to live their lifestyle


                          United States
                          Member #116272
                          September 7, 2011
                          20244 Posts
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                          Posted: November 14, 2012, 9:20 am - IP Logged

                          Like i said back then " Ticket no good, i throw away for you " and i was castigated by factorem for being a "racist" ok Mr Factorem , where are you now, show your face. I rest my case......

                          Good point magic 007, we have all had to deal with money grubbing dishonest shopkeepers at some time.

                            dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                            Oklahoma
                            United States
                            Member #82391
                            November 12, 2009
                            4889 Posts
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                            Posted: November 14, 2012, 9:23 am - IP Logged

                            Put them away for a long time sorry SOB.........Glad the real winner will receive his winnings.

                            Win BIG everyone....White Bounce

                            I Love Pink & Green 1908