2009-12-04 / Top Stories

Local Convicted In Lottery Scam

Sold Scratch-Offs On Street

A Far Rockaway man who defrau - ded several individuals around the state out of large sums of money has pleaded guilty.

He was accused of creating phony winning scratch off tickets for New York State Lottery games by cutting and pasting winning numbers on losing tickets and then selling them for half the value of the supposed winning tickets - which usually had a winning prize of between $10,000 and $30,000 a ticket - has pleaded guilty in the case.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown identified the defendant as Alvin Summers, 37, of 79-28 Gouve - neur Avenue. Summers, who has been held in jail in lieu of $50,000 bail since his arraignment on May 21, 2009, appeared yesterday afternoon before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Pauline Mullings and pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny.

Sentencing is set for December 15, 2009 at which time, Justice Mull - ings indicated, she would likely sentence the defendant to three and one-half years to seven years in pri - son. "The defendant has pleaded guilty to having gained the trust of stran gers and offering them a way to double their money quickly on a seemingly lucrative financial offer that invariably turned out to be too good to be true," said Brown. "The defendant's scheme was nothing more than a variation on a classic con game.

People should always be suspicious of any financial scheme that requires them to turn over their money to a complete stranger on short notice."

Brown noted that Summers' plea also resolves similar pending cases that he has in New York, Nassau, and Monroe Counties.

Sentences in those cases will run concurrent to that of the Queens case.

According to the charges, Summers would approach people on the street and offer them what appeared to be a winning lottery ticket.

He would ex plain to them that he couldn't claim the prize for various reasons - such as he was receiving welfare and could not show the authorities that he had a bank account or receipt of monies.

He would then tell his victims that he'd sell them the ticket in exchange for half its prize value, which usually ranged from $10,000 to $30,000 per ticket.

The unsuspecting victims would turn over their money to Summers, only to find out that when they tried to claim the prize, the ticket was rejected for being altered.

The District Attorney said that, according to the charges in the Queens case, Summers approached a 47-yearold Jamaica, Queens, man at the intersection of Sutphin Boulevard and 89th Avenue at approximately 5:00 p.m. on October 12, 2008, and offered to sell him a winning scratch-off lottery ticket worth $30,000 for $15,000 because he was flying back to the northwest on a flight that was leaving in three hours and that he needed the money to pay child support.

At 6:00 p.m. that same day, the victim gave $15,000 in cash to Summers in exchange for the lottery ticket. Two days later, when the victim attempted to cash in the lottery ticket at a New York State Lottery claim center, he was informed that the ticket was a fake and that it had been altered in that the winning number had been glued onto the front of the ticket.

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