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Scammed lottery winner claims $5m prize years later

16:30 Tue Sep 3 2013
MSN NZ

A New York man who was scammed out of a winning $5 million lottery ticket has finally been able to claim his prize money, seven years after scoring the jackpot.

Maintenance worker Robert Miles bought the winning scratch-off ticket at a convenience store owned by Nayef Ashkar in 2006, the New York Post reports.

But the store owner's adult sons, Andy and Nayel Ashkar, tricked Mr Miles into believing the ticket was only worth $5000 and paid him $4000 for it.

Lottery officials became suspicious and launched an investigation after the brothers tried to claim the jackpot in 2012.

They were both charged with conspiracy and possessing stolen property.

They were cleared of conspiracy charges but Andy Ashkar, 35, was found guilty of possessing the stolen ticket. He was jailed five weeks ago for up to 25 years.

Mr Miles, who filed for bankruptcy in 2008, came forward last year after lottery officials announced the brothers had the winning ticket.

He told court during the brothers' trial that he had a drug addiction at the time he bought the ticket and was confused when the brothers took it from him.

His lawyer told The Post-Standard of Syracuse he was "elated the lottery prize had finally been awarded to him".