3rd defendant in lotto scam pleads guilty

LISBON – The last of three people charged in relation to a lottery ticket incident at an East Liverpool carryout pleaded guilty Thursday to a lesser charge in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court.

Rouz Elkady, 36, of Austintown, the girlfriend of co-defendant Saleh Fahmawi, pleaded guilty before Judge Scott Washam to a misdemeanor charge of complicity to commit theft. She initially had been charged with felony charges of receiving stolen property and complicity to theft.

Ashraf Fahmawi, another co-defendant, was the clerk at the Lisbon Street Market in East Liverpool, working for his brother, Saleh Fahmawi, who owned the store. On Aug. 23, 2012, the brothers were presented a winning $10,000 ticket from an undercover investigator and they validated the ticket, printed a claim ticket and gave the agent only $25.

Elkady was then given the ticket and she filed a claim for $10,000 at the Ohio Lottery Commission office in Youngstown on Sept. 7, 2012.

Assistant Prosecutor Ryan Weikart said he plans to ask for probation for Elkady and asked for a presentencing investigation to be conducted prior to the sentencing hearing, which was set for June 26.

Previously Saleh Fahmawi, 39, Austintown, was sentenced to 20 days in jail for attempted theft. Ashraf Fahmawi, 28, Tippecanoe Road, Canfield, was sentenced to 60 days in jail for theft.

A large number of high school students attending Law Day events in the courthouse were present for Elkady’s hearing and for the sentencing hearing of Rameon J. Sumlin, 23, Penn Avenue, East Liverpool.

Sumlin was sentenced to one year in prison for two counts of drug possession for having .4 grams of cocaine inside an empty cigarette pack on Aug. 24, 2012 and .3 grams of cocaine inside his pants pocket on Nov. 26, 2012. The 12-month sentence will run concurrent to the sentence Sumlin will receive next week, when he is scheduled to appear before Judge C. Ashley Pike to be sentenced on a conveying illegal drugs into a detention facility charge.