Suffolk County Goes After L.I. Couple's Mega Millions

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    County wants cold cash for a cold case

    Suffolk County couple that won a $162-million Mega Millions jackpot may have to wait a little while before cashing their first check.

    County officials are seeking a court order today to stop Richard and Mary Morrison from collecting because of over $950 thousand they allegedly owe the county, sources told NBCNewYork.

    Mega Millions Couple Speaks Out

    [NY] Mega Millions Couple Speaks Out
    The couple's exclusive sit down interview with Tim Minton and NBCNewYork. (Published Friday, Jan 8, 2010)

    The money stems from a 2000 judgment against a homeless shelter the Morrisons ran for the county for 20 years.

    An audit by the county comptroller's office found they overcharged the county for salaries and bonuses during their stint as managers, sources said.

    The Mega Millions cash was due to be handed to Morrisons tomorrow, a sources said. They were expected to take a lump sum payment from $162 million jackpot, which would total about $100M before taxes.

    Now, county lawyers are heading to State Supreme court in Riverhead to seek a temporary restraining order to stop the Mega Millions pay out.

    "It's a lie," said an enraged Richard Morrison outside of his Miller Place home. "We did nothing but run a non for profit and now they're coming after us."

    "We're good people, and we've done nothing wrong," said Mary Morrison.

    Richard, 59, is a psychotherapist, and his wife Mary, 57, is a massage therapist.

    Their attorney claimed out that the timing of the Suffolk officials' efforts was disrespectful.

    "The nerve of the county, to call today, and rain on their parade," said their lawyer, Michael Solomon.

     

    The couple bought the ticket at a store in Rocky Point and won during the drawing on the Tuesday before Christmas.

    Mega Millions tickets are sold in Georgia, Illinois, California, Texas, Washington, Virginia, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Maryland and Massachusetts.

     

    A county judge has ordered that $1 million of the Morrison's lottery winnings be placed in escrow -- pending a future hearing on the money the county says they owe..