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Prosecution calling last witnesses for $5M lottery theft trial

Apr 26, 2013, 7:17 am

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New York LotteryNew York Lottery: Prosecution calling last witnesses for $5M lottery theft trialRating:

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Prosecutor Beth Van Doren has called 11 out of 15 potential witnesses to the stand in the Onondaga County Court trial of two brothers accused of stealing a winning $5 million lottery ticket.

The bench trial before Judge Joseph Fahey began Monday and resumes this morning. Thursday, Van Doren questioned several co-workers of Robert Miles, a maintenance worker who claims he is the real winner of the $5 million.

Miles alleges that Andy Ashkar, who is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, stole the ticket from him at The Green Ale Market in October of 2006. The winning ticket was validated on Oct. 27, 2006, according to lottery officials.

Andy and Nayel Ashkar tried to claim the winnings in March of 2012 at a state lottery office in Schenectady. They are both facing conspiracy charges, as is their father, Nayef, who has a separate trial date scheduled in September.

In court on Thursday, a maintenance supervisor at the Parkside Commons apartment complex in Syracuse testified that he saw a co-worker buy and scratch off a winning $5 million lottery ticket in October of 2006.

Ramon Rosario took the stand Thursday during the Onondaga County Court trial of two brothers accused of stealing a lottery ticket from Robert Miles.

Brothers Andy and Nayel Ashkar tried to claim the winnings at a state lottery office in Schenectady in March 2012. They are charged with conspiracy, and Andy Ashkar is charged with criminal possession of stolen property.

The brothers' father, Nayef, who owns the convenience store where the winning ticket was sold and validated, is also charged with conspiracy. He has a separate trial date scheduled for September.

Rosario was one of several of Miles' co-workers who testified about seeing Miles "jumping up and down, yelling that he had won the lottery" after he bought a scratch-off ticket at The Green Ale Market on his lunch break.

However, Rosario was the only witness called by prosecutor Beth Van Doren who said he actually saw the ticket closely enough to read its value.

Rosario said he looked at the $20 scratch-off ticket, which was an instant winner, and saw a "five comma zero zero zero comma."

Rosario said Miles thought the ticket was only worth $5,000. He said he asked to see it and told Miles it was worth more.

Another co-worker in the area that day, Ricky Pritchett, said he remembered seeing Miles jumping and down.
"He said he won $5,000," Pritchett said.

James Ratchford, another Parkside Commons employee, remembered the event differently. He testified that Miles jumped up and down and "said he won $5 million."

Former maintenance technician Desi Melendez said Miles first said he won $5 million, then became confused and only thought he won $5,000.

Melendez said he could tell Miles had gotten high on crack cocaine the night before because he was "hyper." He said Miles ran back into the store to see how much he'd actually won.

When he came back out, he told his co-workers that the store employees told him the ticket was worth $5,000, according to testimony.

Miles, who took the stand Wednesday, said he knew it was worth $5 million, but accepted $4,000 from Andy Ashkar because he wasn't feeling strong enough to "put up a tussle."

Defense attorneys asked several of the prosecution's witnesses today if they had criminal records. Miles admitted to setting fire to a car after an argument with his wife. He was charged and convicted with third-degree arson. Melendez admitted to two drug-related convictions from 2004 and a perjury charge from 1996.

In between testimony from the Parkside Commons maintenance crew, prosecutor Beth Van Doren called a lottery records keeper to the stand.

Richard Pulsifer, a lottery operations specialist, said he pulled records on the Ashkars and their store after the lottery launched an investigation into their claim.

Van Doren asked Pulsifer if The Green Ale Market ever cashed an "Extravaganza" scratch-off ticket worth $5,000. He said no.

She asked if the store had made a payout for lottery ticket winners worth more than $5,000 from October 2006 to now. He said the store had once, on June 16, 2008, but not for an "Extravaganza" ticket.

Asked how many times Andy Ashkar had won more than $1,000 on lottery games in the last six years, Pulsifer said "five."

During cross-examination, Pulsifer was asked to elaborate and noted that only two of those cases involved scratch-off tickets, and one, involving the ticket in question, is still "pending."

Post-Standard, Lottery Post Staff

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52 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by jamella724.
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United States
Member #94612
July 24, 2010
4735 Posts
Offline

BINGO!!! ---- this is his main job, the car dealerships is just a hobbie on how to RIP PEOPLE OFF!!!

"Asked how many times Andy Ashkar had won more than $1,000 on lottery games in the last six years, Pulsifer said "five."

    beaudad's avatar - animaniacs26
    Mid Atlantic States
    United States
    Member #60041
    April 3, 2008
    1428 Posts
    Offline

    what about the other brother winnings and the father.............??????????? do they have any cousins that have

    won there?????????????? (They will just say that they are LUCKY)....Blue Angel  beaudad

    " I don't have a gambling problem,  I have a problem winning!"


      United States
      Member #116264
      September 7, 2011
      20244 Posts
      Offline

      The States key witness so far is a guy convicted of perjury from the "Commons" Green laugh

        sully16's avatar - sharan
        25
        Ringleader
        Michigan
        United States
        Member #81738
        October 28, 2009
        76132 Posts
        Offline

        Yikes, thats a bunch of messed up people, High on crack ?

        US Flag

          ShowMeTheMoney$'s avatar - Lottery-050.jpg

          United States
          Member #140521
          March 21, 2013
          119 Posts
          Offline

          It's a dream come true to actually win the lottery.  But, in this case, it's becoming a real NIGHTMARE!!!     I hope the rightful person gets his $5 million dollar jackpot!!!  The lesson here is you should always check your own ticket.  Don't turn it over to someone else (especially a clerk from a store).  Just don't risk it.

           

            Banana

            savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
            adelaide sa
            Australia
            Member #37135
            April 11, 2006
            3339 Posts
            Offline

            i hope the judge puts him on an annuity, and drug tests to actually get paid, after say 5 years clean he can have the lump sum. if he was smart he would do it himself.  good luck Mr crackhead, you are going to need all of it.

            " Still swinging, still missing "
            2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016  = -1171; 2017 = -1257 ; 2018 = - 1380 =  TOT =  - 6233

            keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= -424; 2017 =-427; 2018= -223   TOT = -3968

            :

              JoeBigLotto's avatar - Lottery-049.jpg
              melbourne , florida
              United States
              Member #121136
              January 3, 2012
              247 Posts
              Offline

              I think the crack dealers all over the area will be celebrating yes we now have a new VIP custormer about to get paid yepeeeee. lol

                JoeBigLotto's avatar - Lottery-049.jpg
                melbourne , florida
                United States
                Member #121136
                January 3, 2012
                247 Posts
                Offline

                l really wish him best of luck the only problem is that if you can't control crack use probably you can't control 5million dollars you see the 5million dollars is another stronger crack by itself. But good luck and its a blesson you didn't get paid when you where high you will probably not have remembered you ever won anyway lol.

                  Avatar
                  Chasing $ Millions.
                  White Shores- California
                  United States
                  Member #136473
                  December 12, 2012
                  6314 Posts
                  Offline

                  The noose seems to be tightening around the necks of these brothers.  Their Father is part of this circle of crime and awaits his own trial.
                  As Yoda would say " Pay for your crime- you must"


                    United States
                    Member #116264
                    September 7, 2011
                    20244 Posts
                    Offline

                    The noose seems to be tightening around the necks of these brothers.  Their Father is part of this circle of crime and awaits his own trial.
                    As Yoda would say " Pay for your crime- you must"

                    It inconceivable that anyone would lose a $5 million ticket and never tell a soul.......

                    Give the brothers their money.

                      redhot7's avatar - SetforLifeLogo
                      California
                      United States
                      Member #112360
                      June 17, 2011
                      661 Posts
                      Offline

                      Melendez said he could tell Miles had gotten high on crack cocaine the night before because he was "hyper." He said Miles ran back into the store to see how much he'd actually won.

                      Has anyone thought that had the two brothers not stolen his money, he would have been dead from drug overdose? No Pity!

                      Imagine the kind of drugs 5 millions could buy.

                      Remember the lady on welfare who died from drug overdose after winning a million dollar lottery? Blue Angel

                        HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                        United States
                        Member #72446
                        March 18, 2009
                        1307 Posts
                        Offline

                        Stifling!  I hope Robert Miles receives his electronic transfer of $5M gross scratch off jackpot win this year!

                        Sad Wavey

                        Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

                        Disney

                          Bondi Junction
                          Australia
                          Member #57240
                          December 24, 2007
                          1102 Posts
                          Offline

                          The brothers' mother, Wasa Ashkar, said her husband, Neyef, sold the winning ticket to Andy at the couple's Green Ale Market, but she couldn't remember exactly when. In an interview last month with MailOnline last month, Mrs Ashkar said that they are now known as 'the good luck' store because of her son's big win.

                          She said that while they have never had a similar multi-million dollar win, there have been a number of smaller victories in their shop. A few years ago, a woman won $700,000 in a similar scratch-off game.

                          She said she and her husband were Palestinians from Jerusalem who immigrated to the United States nearly 40 years ago and have owned the store for 12 years.

                          We all get a lot out of lotteries!

                            Avatar
                            Chasing $ Millions.
                            White Shores- California
                            United States
                            Member #136473
                            December 12, 2012
                            6314 Posts
                            Offline

                            The brothers' mother, Wasa Ashkar, said her husband, Neyef, sold the winning ticket to Andy at the couple's Green Ale Market, but she couldn't remember exactly when. In an interview last month with MailOnline last month, Mrs Ashkar said that they are now known as 'the good luck' store because of her son's big win.

                            She said that while they have never had a similar multi-million dollar win, there have been a number of smaller victories in their shop. A few years ago, a woman won $700,000 in a similar scratch-off game.

                            She said she and her husband were Palestinians from Jerusalem who immigrated to the United States nearly 40 years ago and have owned the store for 12 years.

                            Hmmm- So the Mother is saying that her husband sold the winning ticket to their Son? She had better watch it, if she is called to the stand and repeats that, she will be charged with lying to the court.
                            Chris Hanson did a piece on lottery convenient store owners who are " super lucky" they always winning along with brothers,cousins & close relatives.What a lucky bunch. Come to find out that their good fortune stems from people who walk into these stores and ask the store clerks to check their lottery tickets.. * (use your Iimagination)
                            I see the same pattern here.