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Undocumented Immigrant Cheated out of $3 Million N.Y. Jackpot

Undocumented Immigrant Cheated out of $3 Million N.Y. Jackpot

Three men were arrested Friday accused of cheating an undocumented immigrant out of his $3 million New York State Lottery jackpot.

The Rockland District Attorney is charging Atif Ali, 28, Riaz Khan, 45, and Mubeen Ashraf, 23, with first-degree larceny for receiving more than $500,000 of the lottery winnings.

The immigrant, who speaks limited English, bought the winning ticket from a convenience store run by Khan on February 3 and when the man showed him the winning ticket, it’s believed that Khan and the others conspired to prevent him from claiming the prize.

Thomas Zugibe, Rockland Country District Attorney, said the man who purchased the ticket lives in the United States illegally and that the three suspects convinved him that if he attempted to claim the prize would invalidate the winnings and he would be deported.

“When he presented the ticket, they scared the hell out of him,” Zugibe said.

The three promised him that they would claim the prize and share the winnings, but after waiting several months, the man hired a lawyer, Thomas Sassone.

The three men collected the first payment of $150,000 before selling the rights to future collections to a funding company for $600,000, Heavener said, adding that after taxes on both payments, the suspects received just over $500,000. The funding company’s account has been fronzen by authorities.

“We’re not looking to hurt anybody,” said Mr. Sassone, the winner’s lawyer. “He just wants to get his money back and to get left alone.”

New York state lottery officials do not ask for the immigration status of winners.

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Based on reporting by the Journal News of White Plains and the New York Times.

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