Brothers charged for scamming $5m lottery ticket

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

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SYRACUSE, New York (AP) — Two brothers from central New York who claimed a US$5 million lottery ticket sold at their family's store have been accused of scamming the winning ticket from a customer.

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick says 34-year-old Andy Ashkar and 36-year-old Nayel Ashkar are charged with attempted grand larceny and conspiracy. Andy Ashkar also was charged with criminal possession of stolen property.

Andy Ashkar claimed in March that he bought the ticket at his parents' convenience store in Syracuse. But Fitzpatrick says the legitimate purchaser was fooled into giving up the winning scratch-off ticket when he went to cash it at the market in October 2006.

Fitzpatrick says state lottery officials trying to find the true winner planted the story of the brothers' win in a Syracuse newspaper.

Their father had no comment Tuesday.

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