CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Three Long Island men have been indicted on charges of swindling a lottery winner of nearly $75,000.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said the suspects deceived the Take Five winner by paying him $774 of the $74,892 payoff when he redeemed the ticket at a Riverside gas station on March 18.
Police said the victim, Marvin Choy Nij, was a 28-year-old construction worker from Guatemala who didn’t speak or write English.
Spota said Orhan Ozturk, 47, his 33-year-old brother Yunis and Yalcin Nergiz, 41, cashed the winning ticket at the lottery’s Garden City customer service center and the three split up $48,000 after taxes.
Nergiz and Yunis Ozturk worked at the Valero gas station where the victim redeemed the ticket, Spota said.
The suspects are being held without bail. Their arraignments were postponed until next Tuesday.
The New York Lottery suggests winners sign their ticket, know how much it’s worth before handing it in and be aware that stores are not authorized to hand out winnings above $600.
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