A man was sentenced to up to 25 years in prison on July 23 after being convicted of possessing a stolen $5 million winning lottery ticket. The 35-year-old New York man was said to have a winning ticket that was stolen in late 2006 from a convenience store owned by his parents. The man's father is also facing conspiracy charges and will begin trial in September. New York Lottery representatives report that they are finishing the process of verifying the real owner of the ticket.
According to the local police department and lottery officials, the convicted man and his brother allegedly convinced a customer that his ticket was only worth $5,000 and paid him $4,000 as his prize, less a $1,000 handling fee. The brothers then reportedly waited more than five years to try to claim the $5 million jackpot in 2012. The customer explained that he was high on crack cocaine the night before claiming his winnings and was not thinking clearly.
The crime carried a minimum sentence of one to three years in prison and a maximum sentence of 8 years and four months to 25 years in prison. The prosecuting attorney, who had asked the judge to sentence the man five to 15 years, expressed satisfaction with the sentence and reported that the community was outraged by the incident. The man's attorney was disappointed, however, with the excessive sentence.
When facing criminal charges for theft & property crimes, the outcome could be largely influenced by the skill and experience of the defense attorneys involved. Criminal case defendants may benefit from consulting attorneys whospecialize in New York criminal law.
Source: ABC News, "NY Man Gets Maximum for Stolen $5M Lottery Ticket", July 23, 2013