A homeless woman who won a multi-million dollar lawsuit was left broke after a group of men conspired to rip her off.
Michelle Carter, 62, sued a deli owner and his accomplices including his father, a bank manager and two other men, who took advantage of the woman who received a $4 million settlement in 2014, after losing her legs in a subway train accident in 2015, the New York Daily News reports.
A Queens prosecutor said the men lived lavishly off Carter’s settlement money as if it was their own. The disabled woman, who reportedly also has a mental disability as well, allowed the deli owner Ammar Awawdeh to oversee a $799,000 check. He co-owned the bodega with his father Yaser Awawdeh and together they conspired ed to bankrupt the woman.
Carter had Awawdeh hold the money to run a tab to buy cartons of cigarettes. But instead Awawdeh spent it jet-setting to Vegas where he had a bachelor’s party, a honeymoon trip to Turks and Caicos and he paid for a lavish wedding. Awawdeh’s father used the money for a down payment on a new car and fund several new businesses.
After that, Carter had another check from the settlement totaling $886,000 that the thieves got their hands on. The men enlisted the help of a bank manager, Anas Ali, who deposited the funds into the bank account of another deli owned by Brooklyn resident Salah Omairat investigators said. Ali got $20,000 for his role.
The woman realized in January that her nearly million-dollar check was gone. The Daily News reports that she told a cop at Penn Station about the theft as soon as she realized it
Awawdeh was caught and told investigators that Carter’s friend gave him the OK. He also said he took it the money because he was “23 years old with plans to get married in a few weeks with no money,” a criminal complaint revealed.
The newspaper reported that Awawdeh faces 25 years in prison if convicted. On Thursday he was released from jail on $100,000. The others were jailed and released on bail also.