There is a criminal case out of Syracuse that once again seems to confirm that evolution is at best a work in progress for our species. Andy and Nayel Ashkar and their father, Nayef, truly qualify as some of the lowest forms of humanity after they allegedly conspired to rip off maintenance worker Robert Miles who won a $5 million lottery ticket. The men worked at the convenience store of their father, The Green Ale Market, in October 2006 and told Miles that the ticket was worth only $5000 and bought it from him for $4000. They waited seven years to claim the ticket but lottery officials were suspicious. Miles has now received his money and at least one brother has received his just desserts.
The brothers waited until 2012 to claim the jackpot. Miles was an easy victim. He was addicted to crack cocaine and he thought that no one would believe a “crackhead” against the word to a storeowner.
When the brothers were confronted by lottery officials, they threatened to rip up the lottery ticket.
Andy Ashkar, 35, was recently found guilty of possessing stolen property in relation to the lottery scam and sentenced to the maximum sentence of 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison. That is truly a happy ending. The addict that they abused is now a millionaire and clean. In the meantime, Andy will be going to jail for a long time. He and Nayel, 37, were cleared of conspiracy charges. It is not clear why conspiracy did not stick in this case since they obtained the ticket on false pretenses and then held on to it for years — presumably in the hope that it would be harder to trace.
The defense argued that there were simply no witnesses beyond Miles and thus no way to prove the matter beyond a reasonable doubt. They asked for a bench trial, which was probably a smart move.
The father, Nayef, was allowed to plead guilty to a single count of filing a false instrument where he admitted his involvement in the crime but will not be sent to jail.
The problem is that Nayel and Nayef will still be walking the streets.