Scammed Lottery Winner, Robert Miles, Finally Gets Paid

A central New York maintenance worker duped out of a winning $5 million scratch-off ticket will get his money next month, seven years after being scammed out of the jackpot, state lottery officials said Thursday.

According to the Huffington Post, The Gaming Commission has verified that the ticket belongs to Robert Miles of Syracuse, officials at the agency said, and he’s expected to receive his jackpot within the next couple of weeks.

So what was the story behind this lottery scam? According to Atlanta Journal Constitution, Miles traded his winning lottery ticket worth five billion for a measly $4,000.

Miles bought the ticket in October 2006, at a Syracuse convenience store owned by Nayef Ashkar.

Ashkar’s two sons, Andy and Nayel, convinced Miles the ticket only was worth $5,000 and paid him $4,000 for it, authorities said.

The brothers waited until 2012 to claim the jackpot, prompting an investigation by lottery officials, according to the Huffington Post.

The report continued on to say that Andy Ashkar, 35, of Camillus was sentenced five weeks ago to up to 25 years in prison for possessing the stolen ticket. He and Nayel, now 37, were cleared of conspiracy charges this year but Andy was found guilty of possessing stolen property.

Last year, when lottery officials announced that the Ashkar brothers had the winning ticket, Miles came forward.

During the brother’s trial, Miles testified that he was addicted to crack cocaine when he bought the ticket and was confused by what had happened to him when the Ashkars took it from him.

The winning ticket for the $5,000,000 Extravaganza scratch-off game originally would have been paid out as a $250,000 annuity over 20 years, Gaming Commission officials said.

The Huffington Post went on to say that because of a change implemented by the lottery this year, Miles will have the option of selecting a lump-sum payment of $3,210,000 that would yield $2,124,378 after taxes.

I guess Robert Miles, the scammed lottery winner, has something to cheer about now.

[photo credit: Jeremy Brooks via photopin cc]