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Six now face charges in CT Lottery scheme

Connecticut LotteryConnecticut Lottery: Six now face charges in CT Lottery scheme
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More arrests may be coming as probe expands

HARTFORD — Six people have been charged so far in connection with a scheme to manipulate Connecticut Lottery terminals to produce more instant winning tickets in the 5 Card Cash game, authorities said Tuesday.

Additional arrests are possible as state Department of Consumer Protection criminal investigators continue their probe, authorities said.

Former lottery retailers from Bloomfield and Windsor were identified Monday as being among those charged with three felonies: first-degree larceny, first-degree computer crimes and rigging a game.

Vikas Patel, 32, of Windsor Avenue, Windsor, and Pranav Patel, 32, of Revere Drive, Bloomfield, posted $25,000 bail and are scheduled to be arraigned Monday at Superior Court in Hartford. Both were arrested Friday.

(See At least two charged in scheme to manipulate Connecticut Lottery game, Lottery Post, Mar. 22, 2016.)

The others charged, according to the Department of Consumer Protection, are lottery retailers or their employees. They were identified Tuesday as Prakuni Patel and Rahul Gandhi, both of Jobs Road, Wallingford; Sedat Kurutan of Wild Cherry Drive, Naugatuck; and Moinuddin Saiyed of Freedman Drive, Norwalk. They were arrested between Feb. 29 and March 7, according to court records. All have posted bail.

The 5 Card Cash game was suspended in November after Connecticut Lottery and state Department of Consumer Protection officials noticed there were more winning tickets than the game's parameters should have allowed. The game remains suspended.

An investigation determined that some lottery retailers were manipulating lottery machines to print more instant winner tickets and fewer losers. Authorities say one man made more than $36,000 manipulating the game.

William E. Ryan, director if the gaming division at the Department of Consumer Protection, said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.

Vikas Patel, owner of Hartford Liquor at 212 Capen St. in Hartford, and Pranav Patel, owner of Center Spirit Shoppe at 32 Bridge St. in the Collinsville section of Canton, are accused of manipulating the lottery terminals in their stores to produce more winning tickets. They are accused of then cashing the tickets and taking the proceeds.

According to the arrest warrants for Vikas Patel and Pranav Patel, about 24 percent of all 5 Card Cash tickets sold were instant winners. At Hartford Liquor, in one sample 67 percent of tickets sold were instant winner and in another 58 percent were winners. At Center Spirit Shoppe, 76 percent of the 5 Card Cash tickets were instant winners in one sample and 59 percent were winners in another sample.

An investigator for the Connecticut Lottery determined that terminal operators could slow down their lottery machines by requesting a number of database reports or by entering several requests for lottery game tickets. While those reports were being processed, the operator could enter sales for 5 Card Cash tickets. Before the tickets would print, however, the operator could see on a screen if the tickets were instant winners. If tickets were not winners, the operator could cancel the sale before the tickets printed.

Hartford Courant

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18 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by Stack47.
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noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
Chasing the Dream.
Utopia- California
United States
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December 12, 2012
4253 Posts
Offline
Posted: March 23, 2016, 11:37 am - IP Logged

Aah- the plot thickens. Great dredging Todd, keep up the good work! 

People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

    sully16's avatar - sharan
    Ringleader
    Michigan
    United States
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    October 28, 2009
    44782 Posts
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    Posted: March 23, 2016, 12:18 pm - IP Logged

    I wonder if Prakuni Patel is related to Vikas patel and Pranav Patel? Stack what do you think?

    Yep, it might be fair to say I've had it with your petty BS. Leave me alone, you got it!

    America First ! US Flag

      duckman's avatar - ducklogodrake64x64
      Jacksonville Florida
      United States
      Member #23018
      October 6, 2005
      940 Posts
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      Posted: March 23, 2016, 12:41 pm - IP Logged

      "An investigator for the Connecticut Lottery determined that terminal operators could slow down their lottery machines by requesting a number of database reports or by entering several requests for lottery game tickets. While those reports were being processed, the operator could enter sales for 5 Card Cash tickets. Before the tickets would print, however, the operator could see on a screen if the tickets were instant winners. If tickets were not winners, the operator could cancel the sale before the tickets printed."

      One thing that is obvious to me is why does the lottery software allow this situation as described to happen? This sounds like a flaw or security oversight in the software. It doesn't necessarily excuse those who took advantage of this, but the software should not have allowed this to happen in the first place...

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #1
        May 31, 2000
        23583 Posts
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        Posted: March 23, 2016, 1:11 pm - IP Logged

        "An investigator for the Connecticut Lottery determined that terminal operators could slow down their lottery machines by requesting a number of database reports or by entering several requests for lottery game tickets. While those reports were being processed, the operator could enter sales for 5 Card Cash tickets. Before the tickets would print, however, the operator could see on a screen if the tickets were instant winners. If tickets were not winners, the operator could cancel the sale before the tickets printed."

        One thing that is obvious to me is why does the lottery software allow this situation as described to happen? This sounds like a flaw or security oversight in the software. It doesn't necessarily excuse those who took advantage of this, but the software should not have allowed this to happen in the first place...

        Yes, poor software design to allow this flaw to exist.  Even stranger is that they can't implement a quick fix and get the game back online.  It's really not a difficult type of software problem to fix.

         

        Check the State Lottery Report Card
        What grade did your lottery earn?

         

        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

          music*'s avatar - bee
          Fresno California
          United States
          Member #157856
          August 2, 2014
          1677 Posts
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          Posted: March 23, 2016, 6:06 pm - IP Logged

           Criminals ruin life for others along with themselves. Now lottery players will have to be inconvenienced by looking for another store to play. This applies to the elderly who cannot get around as easily as the young.

          Keep the good times rolling !!!  White Bounce

            grwurston's avatar - 144
            Winning is fun.
            bel air maryland
            United States
            Member #90251
            April 24, 2010
            5501 Posts
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            Posted: March 23, 2016, 6:53 pm - IP Logged

            They found a way to give themselves an edge. What got them caught was, getting greedy. If they had just tried to stay under the radar by doing it a little here, a little there, they could still be playing.

            "You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player.

            The numbers will tell you what numbers to play. Pay attention to the numbers.

            Don't just think outside the box, crush it.

              Avatar
              Kentucky
              United States
              Member #32652
              February 14, 2006
              7451 Posts
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              Posted: March 23, 2016, 10:01 pm - IP Logged

              More arrests may be coming as probe expands

              Six people have been charged so far in connection with a scheme to manipulate Connecticut Lottery terminals to produce more instant winning tickets in the 5 Card Cash game, authorities said Tuesday.

              Additional arrests are possible as state Department of Consumer Protection criminal investigators continue their probe, authorities said.

              Former lottery retailers from Bloomfield and Windsor were identified Monday as being among those charged with three felonies: first-degree larceny, first-degree computer crimes and rigging a game.

              Vikas Patel, 32, of Windsor Avenue, Windsor, and Pranav Patel, 32, of Revere Drive, Bloomfield, posted $25,000 bail and are scheduled to be arraigned Monday at Superior Court in Hartford. Both were arrested Friday.

              (See At least two charged in scheme to manipulate Connecticut Lottery game, Lottery Post, Mar. 22, 2016.)

              The others charged, according to the Department of Consumer Protection, are lottery retailers or their employees. They were identified Tuesday as Prakuni Patel and Rahul Gandhi, both of Jobs Road, Wallingford; Sedat Kurutan of Wild Cherry Drive, Naugatuck; and Moinuddin Saiyed of Freedman Drive, Norwalk. They were arrested between Feb. 29 and March 7, according to court records. All have posted bail.

              The 5 Card Cash game was suspended in November after Connecticut Lottery and state Department of Consumer Protection officials noticed there were more winning tickets than the game's parameters should have allowed. The game remains suspended.

              An investigation determined that some lottery retailers were manipulating lottery machines to print more instant winner tickets and fewer losers. Authorities say one man made more than $36,000 manipulating the game.

              William E. Ryan, director if the gaming division at the Department of Consumer Protection, said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.

              Vikas Patel, owner of Hartford Liquor at 212 Capen St. in Hartford, and Pranav Patel, owner of Center Spirit Shoppe at 32 Bridge St. in the Collinsville section of Canton, are accused of manipulating the lottery terminals in their stores to produce more winning tickets. They are accused of then cashing the tickets and taking the proceeds.

              According to the arrest warrants for Vikas Patel and Pranav Patel, about 24 percent of all 5 Card Cash tickets sold were instant winners. At Hartford Liquor, in one sample 67 percent of tickets sold were instant winner and in another 58 percent were winners. At Center Spirit Shoppe, 76 percent of the 5 Card Cash tickets were instant winners in one sample and 59 percent were winners in another sample.

              An investigator for the Connecticut Lottery determined that terminal operators could slow down their lottery machines by requesting a number of database reports or by entering several requests for lottery game tickets. While those reports were being processed, the operator could enter sales for 5 Card Cash tickets. Before the tickets would print, however, the operator could see on a screen if the tickets were instant winners. If tickets were not winners, the operator could cancel the sale before the tickets printed.

              For those keeping score, Rahul Gandhi, Sedat Kurutan, and Moinuddin Saiyed were also mentioned in the article. For those who want to discuss how simple it is to manipulate lottery terminals to cheat, first and last names are irrelevant.

                Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                Zeta Reticuli Star System
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                January 17, 2006
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                Posted: March 24, 2016, 12:10 am - IP Logged

                Like those names have nothing in common. More bleeding heart liberal bs.

                Bang Head

                Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                Lep

                There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                  HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                  United States
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                  March 18, 2009
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                  Posted: March 24, 2016, 2:45 am - IP Logged

                  In reviewing this past century, lot of folks are still willing to commit big, on-going crimes, against their neighbors.  Perhaps, hanging or firing squads should return, if it costs our government the high expenses of approximately $50,000/year per prison resident/inmate.  After all, each country's income tax paying citizens shouldn't have to build more prisons and hire more staff if increasing amounts of people are choosing to become sociopaths that steal.  Those tax monies are desperately needed for ongoing road/building repairs, etc.  Perhaps implementation of such a death within a month of fair trial date would dissuade more people from choosing to incorporate a sociopath lifestyle.

                  Thinking of...

                  Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

                  Disney

                    Slick Nick's avatar - Lottery-035.jpg
                    Rochester
                    United States
                    Member #103282
                    January 1, 2011
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                    Posted: March 24, 2016, 8:55 am - IP Logged

                    It was only time that these things would happen within Lottery Games. Crooks will always find a way to try and steal within any profession, etc..

                    Money is a terrible master, but a great servant...Smile

                      lejardin's avatar - Lottery-014.jpg

                      United States
                      Member #118609
                      November 4, 2011
                      1123 Posts
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                      Posted: March 24, 2016, 12:11 pm - IP Logged

                      In reviewing this past century, lot of folks are still willing to commit big, on-going crimes, against their neighbors.  Perhaps, hanging or firing squads should return, if it costs our government the high expenses of approximately $50,000/year per prison resident/inmate.  After all, each country's income tax paying citizens shouldn't have to build more prisons and hire more staff if increasing amounts of people are choosing to become sociopaths that steal.  Those tax monies are desperately needed for ongoing road/building repairs, etc.  Perhaps implementation of such a death within a month of fair trial date would dissuade more people from choosing to incorporate a sociopath lifestyle.

                      Thinking of...

                      The plan to build more prisons to house and support these criminals, these same criminals should have to work to pay back society.  Put THEM to work on the roads and repairs and repay their dirty deeds. That $50,000 for each inmate can be used better than to house them and provide their tv, internet, exercise equipment, etc.  There is no incentive to turn your life around, regardless of crime, when there are so many "rights" as it is?  It used to be that actions have consequences........

                        rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg
                        Texas
                        United States
                        Member #55889
                        October 23, 2007
                        6090 Posts
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                        Posted: March 24, 2016, 12:19 pm - IP Logged

                        That reminds me of the movie Cool Hand Luke. Working on a road gang. You don't see that anymore.

                        CAN'T WIN IF YOU'RE NOT IN

                        A DOLLAR AND A DREAM (OR $2)

                          lejardin's avatar - Lottery-014.jpg

                          United States
                          Member #118609
                          November 4, 2011
                          1123 Posts
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                          Posted: March 24, 2016, 2:30 pm - IP Logged

                          exactly, chain gangs, and why not? The only thing I see is soon to be released inmates on road cleanup duty.  They should all be doing labor.  IMO. 

                            Avatar
                            Kentucky
                            United States
                            Member #32652
                            February 14, 2006
                            7451 Posts
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                            Posted: March 24, 2016, 8:43 pm - IP Logged

                            Like those names have nothing in common. More bleeding heart liberal bs.

                            Bang Head

                            Apparently a group of people found a way to cheat the CT lottery, were caught, and are charged with a crime, but you believe there is much more to the article. If you have any facts showing that people with those type of name are more prone to cheat a state lottery, simply show it.