Philadelphia Criminal Law News

Lottery Fraud: 2 Syracuse Brothers Arrested for $5M Scam

This might be out of nearby New York state, but the story was so amazing that it makes for the perfect story for the mid-week blues.

Two brothers in New York were arrested for lottery fraud, reports Good Morning America.

Well, there’s no real crime called “lottery fraud” but you get the idea. They lied to claim $5 million in lottery winnings. In actuality, lottery fraud could mean a whole host of things. For this story, it refers to cheating someone out of their lottery winnings.

The defrauding duo, Andy and Nayel Ashkar, worked at their family's convenience store in Syracuse. The winner of the lottery ticket came in to their store and bought the ticket.

Obviously confused by the number of zeros he was seeing, he wasn't in his right mind.

Basically, he couldn't fathom that he may have won $5 million. He told a friend that he thought he won $5,000. His friend said "No, I think you won $5 million." That's when Andy Ashkar stepped in and said that it was $5,000 and immediately offered to pay the man $4,000 up front to avoid taxes.

The Askhar brothers then kept the ticket, only to come forward five years later to claim their alleged winnings.

This story is one of the more outrageous lottery scam tales. Most lottery scams are very different, however. Lottery scams don't usually involve cheating the winner out of their winnings. Rather, the common lottery scam involves telemarketers who tell someone they've won and that in order to collect on the winnings, they must pay a certain amount.

The idea behind fraud in general is that the perpetrator makes a false statement and the victim relies on the false statement to his or her own detriment.

When the perpetrator uses fraud to get money from the victim, it's a form of larceny, or unlawful taking.

Victims of fraudulent schemes don't have much recourse, but they're urged to call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-987-3728.

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