Lottery Cheat Gets Maximum Sentence in Court Tuesday

Jul 23, 2013

Robert Miles (right) attended court for sentencing of the man who duped him out of a $5 million lottery ticket 7 years ago.
Credit Kaitlyn Richards/WAER News

Andy Ashkar will serve the maximum sentence possible for stealing a 5-million dollar lottery ticket six years ago.  Onondaga County Judge Joseph Fahey delivered the sentence Tuesday.

After six years, Robert Miles is finally seeing some justice.  When Miles went into Green Ale Market to turn in his lottery ticket back in 2006, Andy Ashkar told him the ticket was only worth 5-thousand, and that the market kept 1-thousand dollars of those winnings.  In fact, the ticket was worth 5-million dollars.  Ashkar waited five years before trying to collect the money, which ultimately led to his conviction on possession of stolen property.


Fahey’s sentencing decision was even harsher than the one recommended by Assistant District Attorney Beth VanDoren.  She asked for 5 to 15 years, one year for each million Ashkar stole from Miles.

“There’s only been two times in my life where a judge has imposed a sentence more stringent that what I requested and both of them came from Judge Fahey.”

Fahey sentenced Ashkar to 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison.  He said Ashkar’s actions showed nothing but 'rapacious greed' for the past six years. He added Ashkar’s testimony during trial showed stealing the money would have made little difference in his already comfortable lifestyle.  VanDoren says Fahey was right to impose such a harsh sentence.

“Both he and I agreed this was really an act of ultimate greed on the part of Andy Ashkar.  And it really hit this community hard.  The facts of this case really struck home with a lot of different people.” 


Robert Miles told the court he could have avoided six years of suffering with the winnings, but said he forgives Ashkar.  The lottery has not decided whether to award the money to Miles, although his attorney is confident he will soon see his winnings.