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Brothers Charged In $5 Million Lottery Scam

photo illustration by Julie Hillebrant

In what’s got to be our Dick Move Of The Week, two brothers are charged with attempted grand larceny after swindling a customer of their family’s convenience store of his lottery ticket that’s worth $5 Million.

Andy Ashkar maintains his innocence that he bought the ticket fair and square all the way back in 2006. His brother Nayel was to be cut in on the action once Andy went out and cashed the ticket in.

Ashkar waited six years to bring the ticket to lottery officials, walking up at the very last minute in Syracuse, New York, to bring the ticket forward. Lottery officials say he requested to take less than what the ticket’s worth if he could avoid the press release and news conferences that would bring so much attention on himself.

In response, the lottery officials thought that was just too weird and suspicious, and so they did the opposite in the hopes that the real winner would come out.

When asked why he waited so long, he claims that he waited so long to cash the ticket because he was concerned that the influx of so much money would negatively affect his engagement to his girlfriend.

The District Attorney was all, psh, bullshit. William Fitzpatrick, the DA in question, actually said this and not my interpretation of it:

I would have hoped that at some point in the last six years he would be convinced that she did marry him for love.

Which, well… (Elliott would probably disagree with me.) But I get your point, Fitz.

The real winner is a “hard working” forty-nine year old man and father of two. They’re calling him John Doe, presumably to give him the relative anonymity and riches that the Ashkars tried to swindle their way into.

Police say Andy was behind the counter at the convenience store, saw that Doe had a winning ticket, and told him it was worth $5,000. Andy then offered him $4,000 for the ticket to avoid taxes and fees. Doe agreed to it, not knowing any better.

His friends said, Dude, I think that was worth $5 Million. Doe didn’t know until the press releases came out.

The Ashkars have plead not guilty.