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After alleged lottery ticket theft, store banned from ticket sales

Ohio LotteryOhio Lottery: After alleged lottery ticket theft, store banned from ticket sales

An Ohio convenience store is banned from selling lottery tickets for a month, after the owner and an employee stole part of a Warren woman's jackpot, according to police reports.

Rita Astolfi's claim that she won big on the Cash Spectacular scratch-off, but walked away with only a portion of her prize, landed the owner of the West Market Street store and one of his employees in court. They are accused of stealing $400 of a $1,000 payoff from the 30-year-old Ward Street N.W. woman before eventually giving it back.

The Warren Gas Mart, 1744 W. Market St., will be prohibited from selling lottery tickets — scratch-off or otherwise — for four weeks starting on Monday, March 5th, said Mike Abouserhal, Ohio Lottery director.

"It's a pretty long suspension to get the message across," Abouserhal said on Monday. "They've made the player whole but that doesn't resolve the situation.

Charged in connection are store owner, 52-year-old Samir J. Aburahma, 320 Trumbull Ave., Youngstown, and his brother, Nabil Aburahma, no age or address available.

Samir Aburahma, free on $2,500 bond, has pleaded innocent to a petty theft charge in Warren Municipal Court, while Nabil Aburahma is wanted on a warrant charging him with the same. Police say Nabil Aburahma is out of the country.

Aburahma will appear before Judge Terry Ivanchak at 1:30 p.m. April 2.

Samir Aburahma declined to comment.

Astolfi said she bought the winning ticket on Jan. 2, and when she went back to the store to claim her prize, a clerk there said he would need to keep $400 for taxes.

"He made it sound real good," Astolfi said. "I didn't know anything. I've never hit big like that."

Police say she realized she was entitled to more and went back, demanding the rest of her money, getting another $300. Astolfi went back a third time and got the remaining $100, police said.

Astolfi also filed a complaint Feb. 8 with the Ohio Lottery Commission.

A spokeswoman with the lottery office in Cleveland said collection information is generally on the backs of the tickets. Or, she said, winners could call the lottery of visit its Web site for more information.

"Our integrity is very important to us," Mardele Cohen, an Ohio Lottery Commission spokeswoman, said Monday.  "It's inappropriate. You don't take things that don't belong to you."

Cohen said that depending on the outcome of the case against the store owner, the commission could prohibit the store from selling lottery tickets again.

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22 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by RJOh.
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RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
mid-Ohio
United States
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March 24, 2001
19831 Posts
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Posted: February 28, 2007, 12:21 pm - IP Logged

I didn't know a store could cash any ticket that was over $599, I'm going to have to check the Ohio Lottery website more closely.

 * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
   
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    Lurk More N00b's avatar - ummm
    USA
    United States
    Member #3312
    January 10, 2004
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    Posted: February 28, 2007, 12:31 pm - IP Logged

    "...the commission could prohibit the store from selling lottery tickets again."

    This is the only correct answer.

    Edit: They're lucky they're in a country that doesn't cut your hands off for this kinda crap.
      Avatar
      Coastal Georgia
      United States
      Member #2653
      October 30, 2003
      1866 Posts
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      Posted: February 28, 2007, 1:18 pm - IP Logged

      "...the commission could prohibit the store from selling lottery tickets again."

      This is the only correct answer.

      Edit: They're lucky they're in a country that doesn't cut your hands off for this kinda crap.

       I Agree!   They should be banned from selling tickets permanently for this kind of crap .

       I have no sympathy for thieves.

       

      Send them back to Pakistan... on a slow boat.

       

                                     

                    

       

       

        RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
        mid-Ohio
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        Member #9
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        Posted: February 28, 2007, 2:06 pm - IP Logged

        These rules for cashing a winning ticket are posted at the Ohio Lottery website.

        If you win up to $599, proceed to any retailer location for immediate payment of your prize.
        If you win between $600 and $5,000, take your winning ticket to a retailer location, where you will receive a PAY TO BEARER ticket. At this point, you have two options:
         
        Obtain a claim form from the agent retailer. Follow the instructions carefully. Your retailer will have a list of bank-cashing locations in your area where you may receive payment by presenting proper identification. Please note that the banks currently charge a processing fee of $10 for this service.

        Obtain a Lottery claim form from the retailer, who will assist you in completing the form and mailing it in for payment. Your winnings will be mailed to you within 30 days.
         
        If you win more than $5,000, contact the nearest Lottery Regional Office and make arrangements to file a claim in person.

        I don't understand how this store could cash her ticket unless she was trying to avoid paying taxes and letting the state know she won $1000 by selling it back to the store owner for a discount.  A $1000 ticket is only worth about $800 to the average tax payer because the state sends the winner a G-W2 to be filed with their state and federal tax returns.  I suspect both the store owner and the woman were being less than honest .  If she expected the store owner to give her $1000 and pay the taxes himself then she was also dishonest.  Now they both will probably end up paying more to the state.

         * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
           
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          Avatar
          NY
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          October 16, 2005
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          Posted: February 28, 2007, 4:28 pm - IP Logged

          It sounds to me like the clerk basically bought the ticket from her for $600. That would let him claim it as his own $1000 ticket.

            BobP's avatar - bobp avatar.png
            Dump Water Florida
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            Posted: February 28, 2007, 4:54 pm - IP Logged

            It sounds to me like the clerk basically bought the ticket from her for $600. That would let him claim it as his own $1000 ticket.

            I Agree!

              justxploring's avatar - villiarna
              Wandering Aimlessly
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              Posted: February 28, 2007, 5:15 pm - IP Logged

              It sounds to me like the clerk basically bought the ticket from her for $600. That would let him claim it as his own $1000 ticket.

              This whole story sounds odd. 

              I would agree with you, except if she was trying to hide the fact that she won by selling the ticket, why would she then call and report it, especially after she got all of her money?  If she got $600 as the article reports, and then she went back for $300 more and then another $100, it doesn't make any sense.  If the store clerk paid her the entire $1,000 then he would have to pay taxes when he cashed in the ticket, so he would lose money! 

                RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                mid-Ohio
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                Posted: February 28, 2007, 5:44 pm - IP Logged

                It sounds to me like the clerk basically bought the ticket from her for $600. That would let him claim it as his own $1000 ticket.

                I Agree! Before I retired I belonged to a lottery pool at work that matched 5of6 for $1500 in three SuperLotto games. Since Ohio only allowed one person to claim the winnings, no one in the pool wanted to cash the tickets, split up the $1500 among the pool members and get stuck with the taxes at year end so we alway allowed a member with a student in college to have his son or daughter cash in the ticket, pay the pool $1000 for the ticket, pay the taxes if any and keep the differences.

                60% of its cash value is a fair price for a winning lottery ticket to avoid the hassle of paying the taxes yourself. 

                 * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                   
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                  TheGameGrl's avatar - character catafly.jpg
                  A long and winding road
                  United States
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                  Posted: February 28, 2007, 6:18 pm - IP Logged

                  I Agree! Before I retired I belonged to a lottery pool at work that matched 5of6 for $1500 in three SuperLotto games. Since Ohio only allowed one person to claim the winnings, no one in the pool wanted to cash the tickets, split up the $1500 among the pool members and get stuck with the taxes at year end so we alway allowed a member with a student in college to have his son or daughter cash in the ticket, pay the pool $1000 for the ticket, pay the taxes if any and keep the differences.

                  60% of its cash value is a fair price for a winning lottery ticket to avoid the hassle of paying the taxes yourself. 

                  Rjoh- Most pools that I have been a participant has a cut and dry method. Claimant puts cash winnings that exceed 600$ in the group bank account. 25% is automatically retained by the bank (at our request) and at the end of the year, the person who claimed the amount can withdraw for tax still due on that PART of the lottery amount. We gain interest and at the same time the claimant is covered. It can be done. And yes we divied the difference once received at the bank. Most often we kept our losing tickets to show proof of any gambling loss for tax purpose. This lessened the overall amount that might be due....

                  As to this article- glad the store was reprimanded but no where near what would be justifiable. Losing the right to sell would have been a clear sounding message. Reminds me of the song "thirty days in the hole".  Had it been a claimant hussling the lottery I am most certain they would have suffered a harsher penalty....Retailers seem to get a break in comparison.....

                  ~~Is it true, Is it kind,Is it necessary. ~~~

                  christmas holly jolly numbers: 255,303,6911, 474,477 silver:47,gold:79.

                    RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                    mid-Ohio
                    United States
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                    Posted: February 28, 2007, 9:17 pm - IP Logged

                    Rjoh- Most pools that I have been a participant has a cut and dry method. Claimant puts cash winnings that exceed 600$ in the group bank account. 25% is automatically retained by the bank (at our request) and at the end of the year, the person who claimed the amount can withdraw for tax still due on that PART of the lottery amount. We gain interest and at the same time the claimant is covered. It can be done. And yes we divied the difference once received at the bank. Most often we kept our losing tickets to show proof of any gambling loss for tax purpose. This lessened the overall amount that might be due....

                    As to this article- glad the store was reprimanded but no where near what would be justifiable. Losing the right to sell would have been a clear sounding message. Reminds me of the song "thirty days in the hole".  Had it been a claimant hussling the lottery I am most certain they would have suffered a harsher penalty....Retailers seem to get a break in comparison.....

                    That might work fine for your group, but everyone in that pool were machinists, electricians and maintenance repairmen who were working a lot of overtime and some of their tax brackets could have been nearer $30% so no one wanted to take a chance if they had a good year.

                    Besides, regular taxpayers have to combine their lottery loses with their overall loses due to interest on debt and other expenses associated with their work and exceed the standard $4500 allowance everyone gets regardless before they can save on their taxes. 

                    Five years ago I matched 5of6 for $1500 and I could prove I spent $2500 that year on lottery tickets and I still paid almost $300 more in taxes because I could only deduct a $1500 loss for lottery tickets and that amount and interest on my debt didn't exceed the standard $4500 allowance everyone gets regardless and I'm retired.  If I had been working and making more, I would have owed even more. 

                     * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                       
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                      jeffrey's avatar - moon
                      Hamilton, OH
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                      March 27, 2004
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                      Posted: February 28, 2007, 9:18 pm - IP Logged

                      Oh hell, isn't it grand theft and ass banging jail time. No more lottery sales and fine them $100, 000. I would prefer a scar on the forehead that says "thief"

                        Jill34786's avatar - Lottery-006.jpg
                        Windermere, FL/Franklin, TN
                        United States
                        Member #50210
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                        Posted: March 1, 2007, 10:24 am - IP Logged

                        I agree with you!

                        Can't believe it's only a month long banBS

                          dumars798's avatar - batman17
                          Atlanta
                          United States
                          Member #28656
                          December 20, 2005
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                          Posted: March 1, 2007, 11:03 am - IP Logged

                          BSThere should be a stiff 

                                    penalty rather than a

                                   month suspension!!!

                                 

                                  Smart bets...... Equal Phat Pocket$!

                                               

                                       





                            RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                            mid-Ohio
                            United States
                            Member #9
                            March 24, 2001
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                            Posted: March 2, 2007, 12:56 pm - IP Logged

                            I think once the full story comes out, it may reveal both the store owner and the customer had dirty hands. Anyone who read their ticket close enough to know they have won $1000 probably also read the cashing instructions on the back of the ticket close enough to know the store couldn't cash a ticket worth more than $599. 

                            I've heard of people selling lottery tickets of that prize amount to avoid going to a bank, showing ID and reporting the winnings as income.

                            Last year, Judge Judy had a NY case where someone asked someone else to cash in their winning ticket worth $1000 claiming they didn't have proper ID and the person only gave them back $500 so they sued for the rest.  Judge Judy after a short lecture on people trying to be slick concluded they both had dirty hands and threw the case out.

                             * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                               
                                         Evil Looking