A Queens con artist used sob stories and fake New York State lottery tickets to cheat at least four people out of thousands of dollars, authorities said Wednesday.
Suspect Alvin Summers, 37, roped in strangers with various excuses -- he had a plane to catch or was on welfare and couldn't show extra income -- for why he couldn't cash his winning scratch off lottery ticket, prosecutors said. He offered to sell his victims the ticket for half its value - in one case as much as $15,000.
However his stories were as fake as his tickets; Summers had pasted winning numbers on losing tickets, authorities said. When his victims went to cash them, they discovered they had been duped.
"The defendant's scheme was nothing more than a variation on a classic con game," said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. "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, of Far Rockaway, pleaded guilty late Tuesday to third degree larceny and faces up to seven years in prison when sentenced next month. Authorities said he duped people in Queens, Manhattan, Long Island and upstate Monroe county and has been behind bars since his arrest this spring.