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.
Aah- the plot thickens. Great dredging Todd, keep up the good work!
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!
"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.
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.
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.
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.
Like those names have nothing in common. More bleeding heart liberal bs.
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.
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..
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........
That reminds me of the movie Cool Hand Luke. Working on a road gang. You don't see that anymore.
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.
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.