The wife of a man who died of cyanide poisoning attempted to claim his $1 million lottery winnings in the days following his mysterious death.
Urooj Khan, 46, right, collapsed and died at his Chicago home in July after consuming a meal of Indian Kofta curry prepared by his wife, Shabana Ansari, 32, (pictured left).
Urooj Khan’s brother, ImTiaz Khan, accused Ansari of attempting to claim her husband’s winnings but she was unable to do so.
Mr. Khan settled for a lump sum payout of $425,000. He, his wife, and his 17-year-old daughter, Jasmeen, from a previous marriage posed with a giant mock up of his $1 million check at the lottery offices the day before he died on July 19. But the check from lottery officials was not cashed until August 15. The money is now in probate while the investigation into his death continues.
Khan was buried at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago. Several days after a death certificate was issued, a family member — believed to be his brother — asked the medical examiner’s office to take a second look into Khan’s death.
Khan’s blood was retested and the results came back in November, showing a lethal level of cyanide in his blood. Khan’s death was reclassified as a homicide.
In probate filings, ImTiaz Khan alleged that Khan’s wife attempted to take control of the funds in an account at Citibank “shortly” after Khan died.
In a September filing, ImTiaz writes: “Ms Shabana Ansari is in possession of the lottery cheque and is concerned she may attempt to cash the cheque again, as she did shortly after the decedent’s (Urooj) death, even though the estate is entitled to the funds”.
In a separate filing, Meraj Khan, (Urooj’s) sister, is seeking guardianship of Khan’s daughter, Jasmeen. The family alleged that Ansari was not legally married to Khan.
But a court sided with Ansari, making her the administrator of Mr. Khan’s estate. The money is frozen for 3 months until the case is resolved.
Ansari and Khan, who were married for 12 years, moved to the US from their native India. Mr. Khan operated 3 dry cleaners in the Chicago area. He planned to use the money to expand his business.
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