A US deli owner and his son have been charged with scamming a customer out of a $US1 million ($A1.09 million) lottery ticket.
Nassau County police say a 34-year-old man who doesn’t speak English bought the ticket on Thursday at the Peninsula Deli & Grocery in Hempstead, Long Island.
The man scratched off his card, saw that he was a winner and handed it to 26-year-old Karim Jaghab to get his winnings, police said.
The ticket was worth $US1 million, but Jaghab gave the man $US1,000 in cash and kept the ticket, police said.
The customer became suspicious and went back on Friday, police said. They say Jaghab and his 57-year-old father, Nabil Jaghab, the owner of the deli, tried to give him $US10,000 and told him not to go to the police, authorities said.
The customer went to police, who determined that he had won the $US1 million jackpot.
The Jaghabs, of East Meadow, were arraigned on Saturday on grand larceny charges. Each was ordered held on $US7,500 bond. According to Newsday, their lawyer said it was a simple mistake on a payout on a lottery machine.
A similar case unfolded in Suffolk County this year when two Riverhead gas station clerks and the brother of one of the clerks were charged with scamming a customer out of a $US74,892 prize.
In that case, police said the clerks gave the man $US774 in cash. As with the Nassau case, the victim was an immigrant who speaks no English.
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