|Poisoned Lotto Winner's Widow Claims Two-Thirds of Estate|
|By SUSANNA KIM (@skimm)||Feb 8, 2013, 2:03 PM|
The widow of poisoned lottery winner Urooj Khan has presented documents purporting to show that most of Khan's estate belongs to her.
Al-Haroon Husain, an attorney for Khan's widow, Shabana Ansari, said Khan signed a document two months before his death, stating that his portion of his dry cleaning business would go to his wife if he died.
Signed May 2, this "operating agreement" presented to the probate court on Thursday indicates that two-thirds of Khan's estate would go to Ansari, Husain said. Khan reportedly did not have a will, Husain and Khan's siblings contend.
Ansari, 32, and Khan's siblings are in a legal dispute over Khan's assets, which include his winnings from a $1 million jackpot distributed in July.
A copy of the 38-page document provided to ABC News appears to that an agreement between Khan and his business partner, Mohammed Shaker, included a clause that read: "Members shall transfer their interest to their respective spouse upon member's death."
Khan's brother said the agreement was "baseless and nonsense," according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
"Why would he [sign an agreement] to transfer everything to his wife? Did he know that he was going to die? Did he know [someone] was going to kill him?" Imtiaz Khan told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Husain said he and Ansari discovered the clause in the document after the judge asked for an inventory of the estate.
"He can question it as much as he wants," Husain said of Khan's brother. "Mr. Khan and his business partner signed off on it. It's the operating agreement for their company. He may not like it but fortunately, the law is the law."
Khan, 46, was an immigrant from India who owned dry-cleaning businesses in Chicago. He was announced the winner of a million-dollar lottery jackpot in June and chose to take the lump sum payout amounting to $425,000 after taxes.
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When he died on July 20 in Chicago, the medical examiner's office believed he had died of natural causes. It wasn't until after he was buried that a family member asked the office to conduct further tests. After examining fluid samples, the office found a lethal level of cyanide and Khan's death was declared a homicide.
The autopsy of Khan's body was conducted after his body was exhumed Jan. 18 from the Rose Hill Cemetery in Chicago.
Dr. Stephen Cina, Cook County Chief Medical Examiner, said enough tissue samples were recovered from Khan's body to proceed with further testing. The samples taken included those from his hair, finger nails, stomach contents, and other solid organs.
The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office is trying to find more details about his death, such as whether the poison was inhaled, swallowed, or injected.
Khan's family said they were suspicious after he died.
"He was a healthy guy, you know?" his nephew Minhaj Khan told ABC News in January. "He worked so hard. He was always going about his business and, the thing is: After he won the lottery and the next day later he passes away -- it's awkward. It raises some eyebrows."
Khan's brother filed a petition last month to a judge asking Citibank to release information about Khan's assets to "ultimately ensure" that [Khan's] minor daughter from a prior marriage "receives her proper share."
Ansari may have tried to cash the jackpot check after Khan's death, according to court documents, which also showed Urooj Khan's family is questioning if the couple was ever even legally married.
Ansari, Urooj Khan's second wife, who still works at the couple's dry cleaning business, has insisted they were married legally.
She has told reporters the night before her husband died, she cooked a traditional Indian meal for him and their family, including Khan's daughter and Ansari's father. Not feeling well, Khan retired early, Ansari told the Chicago Sun-Times, falling asleep in a chair, waking up in agony, then collapsing in the middle of the night. She said she called 911.
Her attorney said she has nothing to do with her late husband's death and has cooperated with the authorities.
ABC News' Michael James and Alex Perez contributed to this report.