Three Riverhead men were arrested this week after police said they attempted to scam a local man out of more than $74,000 in lottery winnings.
The incident happened on March 18, when an unidentified man brought a Take 5 Quick Pick lotto ticket to the Valero Gas and Convenience Store on Peconic Avenue in Riverside. Upon scanning the ticket, the clerks at the gas station realized the man had won $74,892—but instead of telling him, they kept the ticket and paid him $774, telling him that was the prize. The clerk then gave the ticekt to his brother, who cashed it in with the New York State Lotto Commissio,n and they split the cash, according to Southampton Town Police.
Shortly after, the original ticket holder discovered that only the lotto commission could make payments of more than $600, and also heard reports that the store had sold a winning ticket for the larger amount. He confronted the cashiers, to no avail.
After an investigation by Southampton Town Police detectives and the State Lotto Commission, police arrested Yalcin Nergiz, 41, Yunis Ozturk, 33, and Orhan Ozurk, 47, on Friday and charged each with one count of second-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree conspiracy, both felonies. All three men were taken to Town Police headquarters, where they were held overnight for arraignment, details of which were not immediately available.