The case of the Chicago immigrant who died of cyanide poisoning last year shortly after winning a $1-million jackpot in the Illinois Lottery has taken another turn with the settlement of the man's estate, according to an attorney.
Urooj Khan, who operated a dry-cleaning business, won the lottery in May 2012 and died just days before he was to collect $425,000 in winnings, having decided to take his jackpot in a lump sum payment rather than over time, which would have given him $1 million.
But he died in July of what initially appeared to be natural causes, hardening of his arteries. There were no visible signs of trauma and toxicology tests raised no red flags.
His brother raised questions and police became involved in September 2012. New tests found cyanide at lethal levels, which led the medical examiner to issue a ruling of homicide. The body was exhumed to help authorities collect evidence, but no suspect has ever been charged.
Khan died without a will, leading to a battle in Cook County probate court. That fight has been resolved, Al-Haroon Husain, attorney for Urooj Khan's widow, Shabana Ansari, told reporters in Chicago.
Ansari receive one-third of the lottery winnings under the terms of the settlement finalized Wednesday. The agreement calls for Khan's daughter from another marriage to get two-thirds of the lottery proceeds, the lawyer said in interviews broadcast in Chicago.
"She gets to keep her commercial properties and the business, and she gets to keep her primary home, as well as all of the vehicles. She wanted to put it behind her. So I don't think either party is going to be completely happy about it. But I think both parties decided it was best to put the litigation behind them and close this and move forward," Husain said.
The settlement also ensures that neither party will file a wrongful death lawsuit against the other unless new evidence surfaces, he said.
Who killed Khan remains an unanswered question. Under pressure from some family members and the news media, the medical examiner in March declared it a homicide.
"She knows what happened as far as his death and the cyanide, but she really has no idea how it happened. She's going to keep moving along with her husband's business, which she is operating now. And try to hopefully make it even more successful,” Husain told reporters.
The investigation remains open, police say.