By Howard Koplowitz
A Far Rockaway man pleaded guilty last week to defrauding several people out of tens of thousands of dollars by working a scheme involving fake lottery scratch-off tickets, the Queens district attorney said.
Alvin Summers, 37, of 79-28 Governeur Ave. in Far Rockaway, approached people on the street and offered them what appeared to be a winning lottery ticket, the DA said.
Summers would tell the victims he could not cash the ticket for a variety of reasons, according to the DA, and then sell the tickets for half the value of the supposed winning tickets, ranging between $10,000 and $30,000 per ticket.
When the victims attempted to cash the tickets at a lottery claim center after buying them from Summers, they were told the tickets were fake, the DA said.
Summers pleaded guilty to larceny before acting Queens Supreme Court Judge Pauline Mullings Nov. 24, the DA said. Mullings said she would sentence Summers to 3 1/2 to seven years in prison for his crimes, he said.
“The defendant’s scheme was nothing more than a variation of a classic con game,” Brown said in a statement. “People should always be suspicious of any financial scheme that requires them to turn over their money to a complete stranger on short notice.”
Summers used the scheme on victims in Queens, Monroe and Nassau counties.
In one Queens case, Summers approached a 47-year-old Jamaica man at the intersection of Sutphin Boulevard and 89th Avenue at around 5 p.m. Oct. 12, 2008, and offered him a supposedly winning lottery ticket, Brown said.
He sold the $30,000 winning ticket for $15,000, claiming he was flying to the northwest on a flight leaving in three hours and needed money to pay child support, Brown said.
The victim paid the $15,000 that same day. Two days later, when the victim attempted to cash in the ticket at a lottery claim center, he was told the ticket was a fake and that it had been altered by gluing a winning number to the front of the ticket, Brown said.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.