Man pleads in lottery scam

The brother of an East Liverpool business owner pleaded guilty in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court Tuesday to theft involving a scam to short the Ohio Lottery out of nearly $10,000.

Ashraf M. Fahmawi, 27, Tippecanoe Road, Canfield, pleaded guilty to theft.

WKBN newspartner the Lisbon Morning Journal reported that assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart said additional counts of telecommunications fraud and receiving stolen property will be dropped following the sentencing hearing. He plans to recommend three years of probation. Weikart also plans to prohibit Fahmawi from being allowed to sell lottery tickets or operate a lottery terminal as part of his probation.

Fahmawi, who is not a U.S. citizen, was warned by Judge C. Ashley Pike that pleading guilty to the felony theft charge could jeopardize his ability to stay in the United States.

Until sentencing, Fahmawi was granted permission to go to Texas, where his attorney Ronald Yarwood said he is taking college classes. Bond will be continued until his sentencing hearing set for Nov. 25.

Court documents allege Fahmawi, a clerk at the Lisbon Street Market, Lisbon Street, East Liverpool, and his brother, Saleh Fahmawi, 28, he owner and operator of the store, were presented with a winning lottery ticket by an undercover investigator on Aug. 23, 2012.

The brothers validated the ticket using an Ohio Lottery terminal, printed a file claim ticket and told the undercover investigator he won only $25. The ticket was a $10,000 winner. The $25 was paid in cash to the agent.

Then a woman, Rouz Elkady, Saleh’s girlfriend, reportedly filed a claim for the $10,000 at the Ohio Lottery Commission office in Youngstown on Sept. 7.

Both Elkady, 25, Austintown, and Saleh Fahmawi, of Austintown, are also facing charges. Saleh Fahmawi is charged with the same three charges as his younger brother. A plea hearing is set in his case next week.

Elkady is charged with receiving stolen property and complicity to theft. Her case is set for a status conference in November.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s