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One brother convicted, one acquitted in $5M lottery trial

May 1, 2013, 12:01 pm

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New York LotteryNew York Lottery: One brother convicted, one acquitted in $5M lottery trialRating:

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — In a closely-watched trial in Syracuse, New York, a judge convicted one brother accused of stealing a winning $5 million lottery ticket from a convenience store customer but threw out conspiracy charges against his brother.

Andy Ashkar, 35, was found guilty by Judge Joseph Fahey of criminal possession of stolen property. He was handcuffed and taken to jail immediately following the verdict.

His brother, Nayel, who was acquitted on charges of conspiracy, was free to leave.

Prosecutors say Andy Ashkar stole the ticket from Robert Miles in 2006 and waited nearly six years to cash it in, in hopes he wouldn't get caught. Miles testified to using crack cocaine the night before he bought the winning ticket at The Green Ale Market on East Fayette Street. He said Andy Ashkar told him it was only worth $5,000 when he turned it in to check on the winnings.

Andy Ashkar faces a minimum sentence of 1 to 3 years in prison and a maximum of 8 1/3 to 25 years for possessing stolen property. The brothers signed a waiver last week allowing the judge to rule from the bench.

The brothers' father, Nayef, is also charged with conspiracy and has a separate trial date scheduled for September. Defense attorney Kevin McCormack, who is representing Nayef Ashkar, said the judge's verdict today "may be helpful" to his client.

Andy Ashkar's sentencing has been scheduled for May 29. Defense attorney Robert Durr said he respected the court's decision, though he felt there was enough reasonable doubt to acquit his client on all charges.

He said he would be speaking soon with the Ashkar family about Andy's right to appeal.

Attorney Robert Tisdell, who represented Nayel Ashkar, left immediately following the verdict. He said he was disappointed with the judge's decision to convict Andy Ashkar for possession of stolen property as he walked toward the elevator.

It's still unclear whether or when Miles, who says he is the rightful owner of the $5 million ticket, will be paid by the lottery.

As prosecutor Beth Van Doren left the courtroom, she said she was "amazed" by and "ecstatic" about the verdict.

She said she was "proud an ex-addict was able to come forward, and be believed."

"Some say (the lottery) is a dollar and a dream, but for Rob Miles it was $20 and a nightmare."

Van Doren said the trial backs Miles' assertion that he is the rightful owner of the $5 million.

"I am so confident the lottery is going to do the right thing," she said.

News of verdict spreads near competitor's store

No one was in sight around the Green Ale Market this morning as the verdict was announced in the case of a stolen $5 million lottery ticket bought at the store.

But two blocks away, it was busy as usual around King Soloman's Food Mart, where news of the guilty verdict spread quickly.

Outside, Jennifer Graves set up a tent to sell clothing to the people walking by. Graves, who lived in Syracuse for 30 years before moving to Auburn five years ago, said she was happy with the verdict.

Graves called what happened "uncalled for and despicable." Prosecutors say Andy Ashkar stole the ticket from its rightful owner, Robert Miles, who bought it at the Green Ale Market, the Ashkars' family store. Miles has said he was high on crack cocaine at the time and was convinced to only take $4,000 in winnings.

"You can't do that to people, no matter who they are," Graves said. "They're human beings."

Graves said she doesn't think the market should be allowed to remain open. Its ability to sell lottery tickets has already been stripped.

Ralph Maloney, who lives near the market on Croly Street, said the Ashkars coerced Miles out of his rightful money.

"They knew what they were doing," Maloney said. "They thought the were going to get away with it."

Maloney said he knew both Miles and the Ashkars. Even though he thought what happened was wrong, he continued going to their store because it was the only one close by.

"I hope (Miles) gets all his money," Maloney said.

Inside the competing King Soloman's store, the man behind the counter declined comment. But he had his laptop open, following the coverage of the verdict.

Several people inside the store talked excitedly about the case. A few said that neither side deserved to get the money.

Post-Standard, Lottery Post Staff

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38 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by Astekblue.
Page 1 of 3
savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
adelaide sa
Australia
Member #37135
April 11, 2006
3339 Posts
Offline

I am smiling and happy, justice should make every honest person happy.

" 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

:

    dallascowboyfan's avatar - chi
    Oklahoma
    United States
    Member #82389
    November 12, 2009
    6371 Posts
    Offline

    Good decision, would have been better if both were convicted. Like I said before if you do the crime do the time.

    I Love Pink & Green 1908

      HaveABall's avatar - rocket

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

      Good.  I, too, hope the "Lottery Headquarters does the right thing" and issues Miles the $5M this month!

      Shocked

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

      Disney

        Avatar
        Keokuk,Iowa
        United States
        Member #116500
        September 12, 2011
        305 Posts
        Offline

        I hope the judge sentences him to 8 1/3- 25 years in prison and then he gets deported when he is released.Make an example out of him!

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

          I hope the judge sentences him to 8 1/3- 25 years in prison and then he gets deported when he is released.Make an example out of him!

          Yes and to think some folk who visit this forum on a regular basis were pulling for Andy to " get away with it" blaming Miles for being a crackhead and coming up with all kinds of excuses. Carrying on like Racists because Miles is black. I heard it all,his stupid, he gave up his rights to being paid the full amount because he could not count etc, his lying. Well Justice was served.l hope Andy serves the full 8 years as well, and Miles gets paid millions, its what he originally won- fair and square.

            helpmewin's avatar - dandy
            100
            u$a
            United States
            Member #106661
            February 22, 2011
            19967 Posts
            Offline

            Good decision, would have been better if both were convicted. Like I said before if you do the crime do the time.

            I Agree!

              helpmewin's avatar - dandy
              100
              u$a
              United States
              Member #106661
              February 22, 2011
              19967 Posts
              Offline

              Good.  I, too, hope the "Lottery Headquarters does the right thing" and issues Miles the $5M this month!

              Shocked

              I Agree!

                rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                100
                Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                United States
                Member #73902
                April 28, 2009
                14903 Posts
                Offline

                The whole family should be locked up.

                Even the mother lied saying she saw her son purchase the ticket.

                  Avatar
                  Keokuk,Iowa
                  United States
                  Member #116500
                  September 12, 2011
                  305 Posts
                  Offline

                  The whole family should be locked up.

                  Even the mother lied saying she saw her son purchase the ticket.

                  Not only should the entire family be locked up,they should ALL be deported after they serve their time!


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

                    Best wishes to Robert Miles and his family.

                      Artist77's avatar - batman14

                      United States
                      Member #121741
                      January 16, 2012
                      7644 Posts
                      Offline

                      The whole family should be locked up.

                      Even the mother lied saying she saw her son purchase the ticket.

                      I agree. I told ya I did not think it was going to go as well as everyone thought. His attorney did a good job of creating a lot of confusion. But it was better it was a bench trial because a jury might have been way too soft on him.

                      Personally I think both brothers are slime and ought to be locked up a long time and the mother should have been charged as well (lying in an investigation or maybe lying to an official.)

                      Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grace.  We will rebuild!

                        Hallfamily8's avatar - tails
                        New Member
                        MD
                        United States
                        Member #139475
                        February 24, 2013
                        21 Posts
                        Offline

                        Good outcome. Best wishes to Miles, hope he gets what's owed to him.

                        Sure.. There's Always a chance..Wink
                        Give unto Cesar what is Cesars and give unto God what is Gods

                          emilyg's avatar - cat anm.gif
                          25

                          United States
                          Member #14
                          November 9, 2001
                          31615 Posts
                          Offline

                          The whole family should be locked up.

                          Even the mother lied saying she saw her son purchase the ticket.

                          I Agree!

                          love to nibble those micey feet.

                           

                                                       

                            jeffrey's avatar - moon
                            Hamilton, OH
                            United States
                            Member #4162
                            March 27, 2004
                            277 Posts
                            Offline

                            Best wishes to Robert Miles and his family.

                            bs, you said he shouldn't get anything because he was a crackhead. from your posts, i thought you were the thieves' friend or lawyer. Mad