NY brothers' $5 million lottery theft trial starts

AP News
Posted: Apr 22, 2013 5:22 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — A New York state lottery official says two brothers accused of stealing a winning $5 million scratch-off ticket became angry when questioned and one of them threatened to rip it up.

On the first day of the brothers' trial, lottery division clerk Joan China testified Nayel Ashkar (ny-EHL' ASH'-kahr) said, "I'll rip up this ticket right now." She also testified Ashkar asked an investigator if he was accusing him of something.

The trial for Nayel Ashkar and Andy Ashkar began Monday in Onondaga (ahn-uhn-DAH'-guh) County Court. The brothers waived a jury trial, allowing Judge Joseph Fahey to rule from the bench.

Prosecutors say the brothers conned the real winner out of the ticket, bought at their father's Syracuse convenience store in 2006.

The brothers waited until 2012 to try to claim the jackpot. They've pleaded not guilty.