Brothers arrested over $5m scratch card scam
SYRACUSE, NY – Two brothers from central New York who recently claimed a near expired $5million lottery scratch card have been accused of scamming the rightful winner. To make matters all the more suspicious, the winning game was sold at the brothers’ parents convenience store.
Andy Ashkar, 34, and 36-year-old Nayel Ashkar have been charged with attempted grand larceny and conspiracy, authorities said Wednesday. Andy Ashkar also was charged with criminal possession of stolen property.
Lawyers argue the real buyer was fooled into giving up the winning scratch-off ticket when he went to cash it at the the Ashkar’s parents market in October 2006.
Andy Ashkar came forward on March 1, just 11 days before the ‘$500,000,000 Extravaganza’ scratch-off card was due to expire.
Unlike winning tickets for games such as Lotto and Mega Million that expire a year after the ticket is sold, scratch card games expire a year after a game is retired.
Some news agencies are unhappy with the communications department of the Lottery, whose news release claimed that the pair had already claimed the $5 million top prize in the $500 million Extravaganza scratch-off game.
“Any time a public agency knowingly spreads false information it undermines the credibility of that agency and the ability of news organizations to fulfill our mission to reliably and accurately inform the public,” said Karen Testa, the Associated Press editor for the East region of the U.S.
source: Daily Mail, Albany Times Union
Published: November 15, 2012