AUSTIN, Texas – Authorities say a 25-year-old Texas convenience store clerk claimed $1 million in lottery winnings that belonged to a customer and left town, perhaps back to his native Nepal.
Pankaj Joshi was indicted in September on one count of claiming a lottery prize by fraud. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison. The indictment was unsealed this month.
Investigators say they believe a customer at the Lucky Food Store near Dallas asked Joshi in May to check his tickets for winning numbers, and that Joshi pocketed the $1 million ticket.
Investigators say Joshi claimed his $750,000 after-tax prize in Austin and disappeared. His co-workers told authorities they were suspicious because they never saw Joshi play the lottery.