Group Of Five Men Scam Homeless Amputee Out Of $1.5 Million
The 62-year-old victim won a multi-million dollar settlement following a subway accident.
October 30, 2018 at 12:03 pm
A group of thieves plotted and stole over 1 million dollars from a homeless woman who lost both of her legs in a subway accident, Queens prosecutors revealed last Thursday.
The victim, 62-year-old Michelle Carter, won a $4 million settlement when she was struck by a subway train.
According to the New York Daily News, five men — a bodega owner, his father, a bank manager and two others — cheated the woman, who is mentally ill, out of her money.
Carter entrusted $799,000 to Ammar Awawdeh, 27, in October 2015 because she had no bank account.
She hoped the Roosevelt Island bodega co-owner would have used the money to keep a tab for cigarettes. Carter reportedly planned on reselling cartons of cigarettes to support herself. Instead, Ammar spent the large sum to pay for a wedding, a Turks and Caicos Islands honeymoon and trips to Las Vegas and other destinations.
Ammar's father, 58-year-old Yaser Awawdeh, also took some of the money to purchase a new car and write checks. The two men later stole a second check, worth $886,000, which Carter kept in a Bible on her wheelchair.
Ammar then contacted Anas Ali, a 32-year-old Staten Island Chase bank manager, about the second check. He then deposited it into a Queens bodega owned by 30-year-old Brooklyn resident Salah Omairat. Later, Omairat’s brother, Mukhtar, 36, was brought in on the scam, reports Diversity Inc.
Awawdeh told prosecutors he was instructed to give the money. However, the woman filed a police report in 2016 when she discovered her last check of $886,000 was missing. Prosecutors state Ali received $20,000 for his part.
"Her windfall, unfortunately, became the target of alleged scammers," Queens County District Attorney Richard A. Brown told the Queens Daily Eagle. "This kind of underhanded con is unacceptable, and the defendants will be held accountable for these alleged crimes."
Since the scam, the men have been arrested and held on bond. Awawdeh, who is being held on a $100,000 bond, could spend up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
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