So this is what it comes to, scamming an innocent immigrant out of his legitimate $3 million jackpot winnings because of the climate of fear in the USA. 3 men are accused of scamming a lottery winner, an immigrant, out of his multi-million jackpot winnings.
The men are accused of scamming a $3 million lottery winner out of his fortune by convincing him he would face deportation if he tried to collect his prize, according to Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe.
Atif Ali, 28, of Spring Valley, Riaz Khan, 45, of Monroe, and Mubeen Ashraf, 23, of Monroe are charged with first-degree grand larceny.
The scam, Zugibe said, started on Feb. 3, at 11:30 p.m., when the victim bought New York State Lottery tickets at a convenience story in Spring Valley. Among those tickets was a big winner, worth $3 million.
Ali, who was a clerk at the store, contacted Ashraf and Khan, the former owner of the convenience store, and Zugibe said they conspired to keep the victim from claiming his prize. Zugibe said they convinced the winner he could be immediately deported by the U.S., and they convinced the winner to give his ticket to Ali.
“This alleged crime is particularly egregious as the defendants are accused of targeting a hard-working immigrant,” Zugibe said. “These defendants are con men who preyed upon the innocent victim using fear and threats of deportation. They are now charged with having been motivated by greed in committing this blatant extortion of thousands of dollars in lottery winnings.”
Ali is accused of claiming he was the owner of the winning ticket and collecting the first of 20 annuitized prize payments totaling $150,000.
What is really unfair is the victim did not get any money from his big lottery win. This week, a temporary restraining order was issued in state Supreme Court in New City, freezing the bank account holding the stolen funds.
The arrests came about from an investigation was by the Rockland County Special Investigations Unit, the Spring Valley Police Department and the New York State Lottery.
Ali, Khan and Ashraf are being held in the Rockland County Correctional Facility in New City pending court hearings. Zugbie said they each face a maximum of 25 years in state prison, if convicted.