Uncovering the Surface of an Alleged $5 Million Lottery Scam

Five years later, lottery officials became suspicious of the two brothers after trying to cash in their tickets; now they are charged with lottery fraud.

Apr 8, 2024
2 min read


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Uncovering the Surface of an Alleged $5 Million Lottery Scam

The online publication reported on a 2006 lottery scam near Syracuse, New York City, involving two brothers from central New York who claimed a $5 million lottery ticket was sold at her family's supermarket . They were then accused of defrauding winners of their scratch card winnings.

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Nayel Ashkar, 36, and Andy Ashkar, 34, were also charged with first-degree possession of stolen property and now face attempted second-degree theft and fourth-degree conspiracy accusation of crime.

After shady lottery security personnel reported to a Syracuse newspaper in an attempt to find the real winner, legitimate buyers and owners of lottery scratch-off tickets came forward to expose a 49-year-old father of two who cheated In October 2006, when the brothers went to Ashka's supermarket to redeem their winning tickets, he handed over the winning tickets.

Whether it was a stupid mistake or just plain disbelief, the real winner of the lottery initially thought he was claiming a $5,000 prize, even though a friend told him it was actually a $5 million prize. When Andy Ashkar tried to redeem his ticket, he told him it was only a $5,000 prize and Ashkar offered him $4,000 in cash. To avoid paying taxes on his winnings, he foolishly accepted the offer.

Fast forward to today

Five years later, after patiently waiting to realize the full value of their tickets, the brothers contacted lottery officials and said they had postponed payment of their winnings so as not to interfere with an upcoming family wedding.

Fortunately for real winners, it is customary in the lottery to check for large prizes, and when they did so, the security guards became suspicious of the brothers, who told them that in order to avoid publicity, they were willing to pay for a smaller prize. The purchase price was assumed to be $5 million to which the ticket was entitled. Later, the local police received a call and after investigation, the real owner was discovered.

However, the Ashka brothers have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them, with their legal representatives claiming they purchased and were the legal owners of the tickets, which they used to collect their winnings in annual installments of $250,000 over 20 years. Year.

Judge and Jury

The brothers chose to have their case decided by a judge rather than a jury, as the winner is currently pursuing charges against the Ashka brothers.

"I would feel more comfortable if it was handled by someone who had legal training, understood the law and knew how to apply it," explained one of the brothers' defense attorneys. "Everything will be based on facts and not emotion. Jurors usually take emotion into account and in this case everyone on the jury will have their own bias," the lawyer added.

While we can't condone the actions of the Ashka brothers, who allegedly gained a chance to become millionaires at the expense of a gullible scratch-card player, we can only have limited sympathy for this dupe who was essentially trying to evade state tax laws. of sympathy. If the case turns out in his favor, it could be a lawsuit that would be reconsidered later.

Moral of the story: Keep your lottery tickets and pay the taxes.

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