Three Riverhead men have been accused of conning a Take Five lottery winner out of his $74,000 winnings two months ago.

Yalcin Nergiz, 41, Yunis Ozturk, 33, and his 47-year-old brother, Orhan, will be arraigned Wednesday at Suffolk County court on a grand jury indictment charging them with conspiracy and grand larceny.

Prosecutors said the trio was working at the Valero Gas Station on Peconic Avenue in Riverside when they deceived the winner by paying him $774 of the $74,892 payoff when he redeemed the ticket on March 18.

They allegedly cashed the winning ticket at the Lottery’s Garden City customer service center and the divvied up the proceeds—$48.318.27 after taxes—between them.

The victim is 28-year-old Marvin Choy Nij, a Guatemalan construction worker who told police he cannot speak or write English, authorities said.

The suspects are being held at Suffolk County jail without bail.

Hofstra University Transfer

They were arrested following a joint investigation with the district attorney’s Economic Crimes Bureau, Southampton Town Police and the New York State Lotto Commission.


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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.