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Three NY store clerks held in theft of $75,000 lottery ticket

New York LotteryNew York Lottery: Three NY store clerks held in theft of $75,000 lottery ticket
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He was a Guatemalan immigrant who spoke little English and had a fondness for scratch-off lottery tickets; they were two clerks at a Long Island gas station who saw an opportunity.

When the clerks scanned Marvin Choy Nij's Take 5 lottery ticket and gave him $774, congratulating him on his windfall, he never suspected the real worth of his lucky ticket: $74,892, which the clerks, Yalcin Nergiz, 41, and Yunis Ozturk, 33, promptly cashed in for themselves, the Suffolk County district attorney, Thomas J. Spota, said this week.

With Mr. Ozturk's brother, Orhan Ozturk, 47, the district attorney said, they split the profits, which came to $48,318.27 after taxes. They were due to be arraigned on Wednesday on conspiracy and grand larceny charges, but the arraignment was postponed until next Tuesday to wait for a Turkish interpreter.

The handful of Bingo and Take 5 scratch-off tickets that Mr. Nij, 28, brought into the Valero station on Peconic Avenue in Riverhead, in mid-March, did not seem like much — until his last ticket was scanned.

Although the clerks ignored his request for a receipt, Mr. Nij, a construction worker who told the police he did not speak or write English, became suspicious only when he told a clerk at the card shop where he had bought the winning ticket about his good fortune, the district attorney's office said. Surprised, the clerk told him that retail stores cannot cash tickets worth more than $600; larger amounts are redeemed by the New York Lottery.

At the same time, Mr. Nij saw a sign in the card shop's window announcing that it had recently sold a $74,892 winning ticket.

"That's when his suspicions were really confirmed," said Robert Clifford, a spokesman for the district attorney.

Orhan Ozturk's lawyer, Edward Burke Jr., said his client, a 25-year employee of another gas station, had never been in trouble with the law before. "I look forward to the court process," he said. (The other suspects' lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.)

The case came months after two brothers from the Syracuse area were arrested and accused of claiming a $5 million winning ticket that they had told the winner, a customer at their parents' convenience store, was worth only $5,000. One brother was acquitted and the other found guilty of stealing the ticket.

It is unclear whether Mr. Nij and the original winner in the Syracuse case will receive the rest of their winnings. A lottery spokesman, Lee Park, would say only that the lottery was assisting the Suffolk County investigation and reviewing the Syracuse case. Lottery rules state that claimants must be "identified to the satisfaction" of the lottery before any payment is made.

NY Times

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36 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by Bumkillah.
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rdgrnr's avatar - walt
Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
United States
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Posted: May 8, 2013, 10:36 pm - IP Logged

Here we go again.


                                             
                     
                                         

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                   

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                            --Edmund Burke

 

 

    Avatar

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    Posted: May 8, 2013, 10:41 pm - IP Logged

    The lottery needs to make it so you can scan your own tickets without having to give it to the shady clerks. In my state you can scan your own regular lottery tickets, but instant tickets you cannot. Even the systems that have a screen in front of the customer that shows the dollar amount is dangerous because other people in the store can see and potentially rob winners. 

    And once again, always print your name on your tickets. 

    I can only imagine throughout history how many people have been robbed of their winnings by these shady clerks. 

      Avatar
      OHIO
      United States
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      March 27, 2004
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      Posted: May 8, 2013, 10:42 pm - IP Logged

      You are so right, and it is so sad that it's so much greed and dishonesty in the world...As the saying goes "Trust No One"......

      "I am what I am by the grace of God."

      Kitfany

      http://www.ohiolottery.com/

        rdgrnr's avatar - walt
        Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
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        Posted: May 8, 2013, 10:52 pm - IP Logged

        I would venture to say with confidence that this activity is epidemic and has been for years and years.

        We're only seeing the very rare cases that get exposed by stupidity on the part of the thieves or just happenstance.

        Maybe the publicity will get a lot more of these people who are constantly being ripped off by these lowlife clerks to open their eyes and not only realize what's going on but to educate themselves as how to prevent it.

        The lotteries and law enforcement and the courts need to start doing something about this. This is a disgrace.

        Heads need to roll in the lottery commissions, their investigatory arms and in the courtrooms when these slimy pukes are caught.

        The lotteries like to turn a blind eye and pretend it's not happening because they don't want the bad publicity it would stir up and because there's work involved if they really want to stop it.

        Which they really don't.


                                                     
                             
                                                 

         

         

         

         

                                                                                                           

        "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                    --Edmund Burke

         

         

          Avatar
          Keokuk,Iowa
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          Posted: May 8, 2013, 11:29 pm - IP Logged

          The  moral of this story is ALWAYS SIGN YOUR TICKET BEFORE HANDING IT TO A CLERK TO CHECK IT FOR YOU!If your state has a self checking machine at stores,USE IT,after signing your ticket!ALWAYS SIGN YOUR TICKET!!!Trust no one when it comes to winning money.

            noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
            Bay Area/ California
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            Posted: May 8, 2013, 11:37 pm - IP Logged

            Here we go again.

            Darn Right Ridge.
            These folk are cut from the same cloth as Andy Askhar- that convicted son of the convenient store owner who was nailed last week. Conviction followed by deportation.

              Avatar

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              Posted: May 9, 2013, 12:02 am - IP Logged

              Darn Right Ridge.
              These folk are cut from the same cloth as Andy Askhar- that convicted son of the convenient store owner who was nailed last week. Conviction followed by deportation.

              How the hell do you know that they were not born here? Just because someone has a foreign name does not mean they were not born in America. Last time I checked foreigners give birth to children in this country every single day. Typical ignorant American opinon that all people with foreign names must be born elsewhere and are not American. 

                redhot7's avatar - SetforLifeLogo
                California
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                Posted: May 9, 2013, 12:03 am - IP Logged

                I could think of a way that would minimize this from happening.

                All lottery retailers are required to have a computer monitor facing the customers.
                As soon as the ticket is scanned, the monitor will flash and will show the prize in big red fonts that nobody could miss it.

                  rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                  Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
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                  Posted: May 9, 2013, 12:14 am - IP Logged

                  I could think of a way that would minimize this from happening.

                  All lottery retailers are required to have a computer monitor facing the customers.
                  As soon as the ticket is scanned, the monitor will flash and will show the prize in big red fonts that nobody could miss it.

                  Tennessee Lottery Retailers are required to have the readout facing the customer but a lot of them don't. They put the machine on a back wall or a window so you would have to go outside and read the screen. Or they cover it up with stuff on the counter so you can't see it.

                  Cuz they know the Tennessee Lottery really doesn't care and doesn't enforce anything anyway.

                  It's a free-for-all.

                  Ripping off naive lottery players can be a very lucrative business.


                                                               
                                       
                                                           

                   

                   

                   

                   

                                                                                                                     

                  "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                              --Edmund Burke

                   

                   

                    rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                    Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
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                    Posted: May 9, 2013, 12:18 am - IP Logged

                    How the hell do you know that they were not born here? Just because someone has a foreign name does not mean they were not born in America. Last time I checked foreigners give birth to children in this country every single day. Typical ignorant American opinon that all people with foreign names must be born elsewhere and are not American. 

                    "Typical ignorant American opinon..."

                    Typical ignorant American opinion?

                    So American opinions are typically ignorant?

                    Where the hell are you from that makes you so qualified to judge us?

                    If you don't like our opinions, why don't you go back wherever the hell you came from too?

                      RedStang's avatar - threefin zpsd48411ab.jpg
                      Dutchess NY
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                      Posted: May 9, 2013, 1:17 am - IP Logged

                      The  moral of this story is ALWAYS SIGN YOUR TICKET BEFORE HANDING IT TO A CLERK TO CHECK IT FOR YOU!If your state has a self checking machine at stores,USE IT,after signing your ticket!ALWAYS SIGN YOUR TICKET!!!Trust no one when it comes to winning money.

                      Right. What ny lotto could do is add instructions in spanish on the ticket. Another problem we have is the scanners or machines are always broken.

                        noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
                        Bay Area/ California
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                        Posted: May 9, 2013, 3:35 am - IP Logged

                        How the hell do you know that they were not born here? Just because someone has a foreign name does not mean they were not born in America. Last time I checked foreigners give birth to children in this country every single day. Typical ignorant American opinon that all people with foreign names must be born elsewhere and are not American. 

                        You addressing me bud?- how in the hell do l know?

                        By this...

                        Web produced by Jennifer Matarese, Eyewitness News

                        RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (WABC) -- A construction worker, who barely speaks English, thought he struck it big winning more than $700 with a winning lottery ticket.

                         

                        But it turns out it wasn't $700 he won, it was actually more than $70,000.

                        Three suspects are charged with swindling him out of the money when he cashed the tickets in Suffolk County.

                        In the community of Turkish immigrants who work gas stations around Riverhead, the news spread in a flash; that after years of drudgery selling lotto tickets at this Valero station, Yalcin Nergiz and Yunis Ozturk had hit it big, a $74,000 Take 5 jackpot.

                        But neither spoke the best English, so they asked Yunis's older brother Orhan, who works just down the road, to cash the ticket in.

                        "His brother lied to him, and now he's in trouble," said Eray Cufadar, a friend.

                         

                        * The winner of the last Big Jackpot from NJ was an immigrant from the Dominican Republic( Pedro),lived in NJ for decades, he too spoke little English or not the " best English"- he needed an interpreter.Dare l say that IF YOU BORN HERE- YOU HAD BETTER SPEAK ENGLISH or passable English, if you dont- ITS A DEAD GIVEAWAY....So take that to the bank Venomous one.

                        These thugs needed an " Interpreter and found one in the Brother... so there.

                        Guess which ones do not speak the " best English?"

                        long island lottery scam

                          Avatar

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                          Posted: May 9, 2013, 5:55 am - IP Logged

                          Right. What ny lotto could do is add instructions in spanish on the ticket. Another problem we have is the scanners or machines are always broken.

                          Never seen a broken scanner?

                          This is getting outta control, but I guess when money is involved it is kinda expected.  Shame on NY Lottery for not being more proactive on this subject.

                            GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
                            NY State
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                            Posted: May 9, 2013, 7:52 am - IP Logged

                            Never seen a broken scanner?

                            This is getting outta control, but I guess when money is involved it is kinda expected.  Shame on NY Lottery for not being more proactive on this subject.

                            I've seen a "broken" scanner.

                            At least I was told it was broken, but it could have just as easily have been unplugged.

                            I scan everyone of my winners, even though I already know how much I won.   I make it a point to let the clerk see me do it, and if they dont, I tell them "I just scanned this ticket and I won XX.00 dollars."

                            If the scanner is "broken", because I already know how much I won, I say to the clerk when I hand them the ticket;  "Here' a XX dollar winner."   A snotty clerk once said to me "Well, I'll let the terminal decide that."  I said nothing, except when she handed me my money.  I simply said "Told ya" and walked out of the store.

                            Winning a Jackpot - unlikely but POSSIBLE!