Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Two brothers accused of swindling a lottery winner out of $5 million in 2006 pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.
According to the Onondaga County District Attorney’s office, Andy Ashkar told the legitimate winner that a $5 million ticket was only worth $5,000 when he purchased it at the Ashkar family’s Green Ale Market on East Fayette Street.
In addition, the DA’s office says Ashkar told the legitimate winner that the store was entitled to a $1,000 cashing fee.
According to their attorney, the brothers maintain that they bought the ticket legitimately.
Nayel Ashkar, 36, of Cicero, and Andy Ashkar, 34, of Camillus, have been charged with second degree grand larceny and first degree conspiracy. In addition, Andy Ashkar has been charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the first degree, a felony.
Both men have been released on $25,000 bail.