SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — One of two brothers charged with conning a man out of a winning $5 million scratch-off lottery ticket says he bought the ticket but didn't tell anybody about it for nearly six years because he worried about his parents' safety.
Andy Ashkar testified Friday that he bought the ticket at his parents' store, which he says is in a crime-ridden neighborhood.
Police and lottery officials say the 34-year-old Ashkar and his 36-year-old brother Nayel convinced Robert Miles that the ticket he bought in 2006 was worth only $5,000. Authorities say the brothers paid Miles $4,000, took a $1,000 handling fee, then waited until the ticket was about to expire before claiming the jackpot in 2012.
The brothers are charged with theft and conspiracy.
The trial in Onondaga County Court could wrap up Friday.