NEW BRUNSWICK — An Edison store employee was charged with theft and money laundering after he took a customer's million-dollar winning lottery ticket and had his wife collect the prize.

When a customer holding the winning scratch-off ticket came into the store, Rayhan Sorwar, 36, of Edison,  handed her two new lottery tickets and told her that was her prize instead of giving her a claim form, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey.

Sorwar sent his wife to lottery headquarters to collect the winnings on Sept. 19 but the workers became suspicious and an investigation was started that led to Sorwar's arrest. His wife was not charged.

The customer was eventually paid her winnings.

Prosecutors did not release the name of the store.

Sorwar was also charged with one count of second-degree theft of moveable property of more than $75,000. He was released pending a court appearance in New Brunswick Superior Court on Feb. 15.

New Jersey 101.5 did not know Saturday whether Sorwar had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ