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Black homeless woman loses $1.5 million after getting scammed by 'trusted' deli owners

Ra'eesah Manack
Oct 30, 2018
10:00 A.M.
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Deli Owners scam homeless woman out of $1.5 million. They stole the amputee's settlement money to fund their lavish lifestyle.

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Michelle Carter was run over by an F Train in the Roosevelt Island station. Both of her legs were amputated below the knees.

Struggling to make ends meet, she lived in Section 8 housing in Manhattan Park. The MTA tried hard to fight off liability.

However, after eight years, Carter was eventually compensated. In 2014, the MTA paid out $4 million to her.

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Unfortunately for Carter, the money that was supposed to help her through her tough times was ripped away. A bodega owner, his father, a bank manager and two other men swindled $1.5 million from the unsuspecting homeless woman.

Carter, who had gone viral a year ago for smoking what looked to be a marijuana joint on a train last year, was friends with Ammar Awadeh.

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She entrusted a $799 000 cheque to Ammar Awawdeh in October 2015. Ammar co-owned a deli with his father, Yaser Awawdeh, on Roosevelt Island.

Trusting her friend, Carter gave him the money to run a tab at the deli for cartons of cigarettes. However, Ammar had other ideas.

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He used the money to fund his wedding, bachelor party in Laz Vegas and fancy honeymoon in Turks and Caicos. His father used part of the stolen cash to buy a brand new car and write checks to other businesses.

Not one to put all her eggs in one basket, Carter had hidden a second cheque worth $886 000 in her bible in her wheelchair. The shrewd Ammar would eventually steal that cheque as well.

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He then enlisted the help of bank manager, Anas Ali, and deposited the money into the account of Salah Omairat. Omairat owned another deli in the city. Ali got $20 000 out of the deal, and Omairat's brother also got caught up in the illegal dealings.

In January, when she realized the money was missing, Carter reported it to police immediately. All the accused were apprehended after investigators traced when and who had cashed the cheques.

They were charged for money laundering, grand theft, conspiracy, criminal possession of stolen property amongst other charges.

Carter only received about $100 000 back. If convicted, Ammar faces 25 years in jail and granted bail at a $100 000. His co-conspirators were each awarded varying bail amounts.

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