Latest News
9/27/09 to 10/3/09

National Gambling Crimes

18 men in Conn. bird-fighting ring get probation

CT - Judge has granted probation to 18 of 19 men arrested in connection with a bird-fighting operation. Charges of cruelty to animals and illegal gambling will be dropped if they stay out of trouble... / The Associated Press / Oct 2, 2009

2 Missouri casinos fined for underage gamblers

MO - The Missouri Gaming Commission on Wednesday finedPinnacle Entertainment Inc. (PNK-news-people) $60,000 and Ameristar Casino Inc. $25,000. A Pinnacle spokeswoman declined comment. An Ameristar spokesman called the fine "excessive." "But Gaming Commission director Gene McNary said the fines show the commission has no tolerance for casinos that fail to keep out those under 21. McNary said the problem has gotten worse since November when Missouri voters approved a ballot measure eliminating the state's $500 loss limit. / Associated Press / By JIM SALTER / 10.01.09


NY - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, along with Southern District of New York United States Attorney Preet Bharara, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, and Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore, today announced the indictment of 19 individuals on charges relating to an illegal gambling, sports betting and loan sharking enterprise controlled by the Luchese Organized Crime Family. "These defendants not only allegedly operated a highly organized criminal enterprise, but actually attempted to infiltrate and corrupt the NYPD to protect themselves and their profits," "This cooperative multi-agency effort involving local, state and federal law enforcement was instrumental in taking down illegal gambling enterprises that featured wide ranging high stakes card games operating with seeming impunity in Westchester County and New York City. This same enterprise engaged in sports betting and loan sharking throughout Westchester County and the Metropolitan Area." / October 1, 2009

B.A.D.G.E.S. Unit Makes Multiple Drug Arrests

FL - Bertram Eugene Washington, 56 years of age, Washington was charged with Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Keeping or Maintaining a Public Nuisance Drug House, Keeping or Maintaining a Public Nuisance Gambling House. / WMBB - 13 / 10/02/09

BetOnSports Online Casino Head Withdraws Guilty Plea

- David Carruthers, the online casino mogul who ran sports betting site BetOnSports, decided to reject a plea offer from US authorities just days before sentencing, and changed his plea to not guilty, He was charged with illegally accepting sports bets from US customers. / by Julie Wong / September 30, 2009

Betonsports chief David Carruthers changes guilty plea in the US

MO - The British online gambling executive... Carruthers, Has withdrawn his 'guilty' plea just days before he was due to be sentenced by a US court on racketeering charges for breaching America's sweeping restrictions on internet gaming. / 30 September 2009

Calif. authorities: 1981 triple murder was hit job

FL - James 'Jimmy' Hughes, 52, Was served with a warrant issued by the California State Attorney General's office, was arrested Saturday Sept. 26,2009 at Miami International Airport as he was about to board a flight to Honduras... California authorities believe an unsolved 1981 triple murder at the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians was a hit job orchestrated by a tribal casino director, financial adviser and others to cover up illegal activity, Faces three counts of murder in the execution-style shootings of Cabazon tribal official Alfred Alvarez and his friends Patricia Castro and Ralph Boger and one count of conspiracy to commit a crime, / Associated Press / By GILLIAN FLACCUS / Oct. 01, 2009

Casino fined for allowing gambling addict to play

NJ - The state Casino Control Commission fined the Hilton $10,000 yesterday for allowing the woman to gamble while on the list. / AP / Sep. 23, 2009

Casino scammers in Black Book plead guilty to cheating slots

NV - Two casino cheats listed in Nevada's Black Book and a woman who was their accomplice in a 2006 crime pleaded guilty Tuesday in District Court for their roles in a slot machine-cheating scheme they used at several Las Vegas casinos. Surveillance videos show Cushing and Lewanda would stand watch at slot machines while McNeive inserted $1 bills and forged them as $100 bills using the cheating device. / By Our Partners at the Las Vegas Sun / 30 September 2009

Casinos face fines over rash of underage gamblers

MO - Missouri casinos have seen an increase in underage gamblers since identification requirements changed as part of Proposition A last fall. Commission members voted to fine Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. $60,000, for underage violations at its Lumiere Place Casino in downtown St. Louis, and Ameristar Casino $25,000, In November, voters approved Proposition A, which ended the state's $500 loss limit and also ended requirements that gamblers sign up for an identification card before entering the gambling floor. Now, casino patrons need only show an ID to a security guard proving they are 21 years old. / ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH / By Tim Logan / Oct. 01 2009

Cheyenne, Arapaho officials ask agencies to monitor voteTribesBallot tampering, fraud suspected in election

OK - Amber Bighorse, lead staff attorney for the tribes' legislature, said tribal representatives and candidates running against incumbent Gov. Darrell Flyingman expect ballot tampering and fraud, in particular with absentee ballots. In 2007, the Federal Indian Gaming Commission audited an estimated $50 million of the tribes' gaming revenues and a tribal official in January was convicted of embezzling more than $100,000. Two tribal officials were also indicted... / BY VALLERY BROWN / October 3, 2009

Complaint: Killing of tribal leader was hit job

CA - An unsolved 1981 triple murder that spawned decades of conspiracy theories was a hit job orchestrated by a tribal casino director, financial adviser and others to cover up illegal activity at the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians reservation... Hughes, 52, faces three counts of murder in the execution-style shootings of Cabazon tribal official Alfred Alvarez and his friends Patricia Castro and Ralph Boger, as well as a count of conspiracy to commit a crime. The elder Nichols died in 2001 after pleading no contest to two counts of murder solicitation and serving 18 months in prison in another murder-for-hire plot. For years, numerous local and state investigations turned up no suspects, despite rampant rumors, pressure from the victims' families, and the apparent suicide in 1991 of a freelance reporter who was probing the matter. Hughes, then 27, told authorities he had been a payoff man in the Alvarez case. He said in the summer of 1981, he had been instructed in the presence of the elder Nichols to take $25,000 to the mountain community of Idyllwild and give it to a man as a partial payment for the Alvarez killings, / Associated Press / By GILLIAN FLACCUS / 10/2/09

Convicted embezzler to forfeit state lottery prize

OK - The former radio executive was facing a charge of felony theft for embezzling a reported $87,750 from his employer, American Media Investments, The supreme irony: Lyle, 63, the company's chief operating officer until the theft was discovered in May, confessed that he stole the money to feed an out-of-control addiction to scratch-off state lottery tickets. Sheriff Sandy Horton said investigators discovered $30,457 worth of losing scratch-off tickets in a drawer of Lyle's desk... As part of the plea bargain, prosecutor Michael Gayoso Jr. said, Lyle has agreed to turn over his entire lottery winnings to help pay the anticipated restitution that American Media Investments will be owed in the case. / October 02, 2009

Cops: Rocky Point Deli Raid Yields Gambling, Drugs, Texas Murder Suspect

TX - Three Port Jefferson men-including one wanted for murder-were arrested Thursday night in raid at a Rocky Point deli, They arrested the owner, Ramon Rodriguez, for promoting gambling and possession of a gambling device. Investigators found a dice table, gambling, alcohol, drugs and a large amount of cash-in addition to numerous building and fire code violations, officials said. / Long Island News / by Timothy Bolger / Sep 27th, 2009

Corruption Lives Within Alabama Gambling Scandal Lawsuit

AL - The news this week of Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford receiving special treatment at the Quincy's 777 Casino... Langford, according to the most recent civil lawsuit, won a jackpot of $50,000... Claims that the machines were rigged and that Langford was led to the machine that would pay the jackpot. Birmingham Race Course owner Milton McGregor owns both locations where Langford has won the jackpots. / CASINO GAMBLING WEB / 9/30/09

Embezzlement Crimes on Rise in Oklahoma

OK - Sometimes the amounts are in the millions, other times just a few thousand dollars, but embezzlement seems to be a common occurrence these days. Prosecutor Rick Stizman said these types of crimes are on the rise. "We see a lot of people that embezzle because they're either enhancing their lifestyle, living a little better than they could have otherwise or we're also seeing a connection to addictions, such as gambling addictions," / NEWS 9 / By Gan Matthews / Sep 29, 2009

Eustis Police arrest four on drug and gambling charges

FL - While crediting concerned citizens and business owners with tips on illegal gaming and drug activity in the city, Eustis Police announced the arrests of four people Friday on a host of drug charges. One individual was also charged with keeping an illegal gambling house, officials said. / Anthony Colarossi / October 2, 2009

Ex-casino employee gets 37 months; cashed $600K in fake tickets

AZ - A former Desert Diamond Casino employee was sentenced Wednesday to 37 months in federal prison for making more than $600,000 in fake slot machine jackpot tickets. Broker who bilked clients of $350,000 gets 18-month term... David R. Holst, 44, was indicted in December on securities fraud and subscribing and filing a false tax return, charges stemming from allegations he used mutual fund investments from at least eight clients to fund a gambling addiction... / ARIZONA DAILY STAR / Brian J. Pedersen / 10.01.2009

Ex-deputies sentenced to jail for charity theft

PA - Leshnack, a former sergeant in the Trumbull County Sheriff's Department, said a gambling problem led him to steal $33,000 from a charitable organization he and a fellow sheriff's sergeant formed in 2004. His co-defendant, Was ordered to pay back the $8,500 he stole... An investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation showed that the men used the organization's money to take trips to Las Vegas... / By Ed Runyan / October 1, 2009

Flemington man pleads guilty to promoting gambling

NJ - A 52-year-old Flemington man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Hudson County to helping run a gambling ring that involved placing bets on sporting events, / By Bill Wichert / September 30, 2009

Florida lobbyist tied to FBI corruption probe

FL - A well-known political campaign consultant and former aide to a Florida governor is tied to a federal corruption investigation touching the highest levels of state government, Stephen D. Hull, a Tallahassee-based lobbyist and consultant, helped establish a political committee whose records were seized by the FBI before Wednesday's indictment of Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, a Broward ophthalmologist and high-profile fundraiser for dozens of current and former state lawmakers. One of the biggest donors was Dan Adkins, president of the Mardi Gras Race Track and Casino in Hallandale Beach. His companies gave at least $265,000 to a Mendelsohn-controlled committee as the casino was lobbying for expanded casino gambling, records show. Hull also lobbied for Adkins' company in 2005, records show, as gaming companies were wrapping up a successful six-year, $18 million effort to legalize Las Vegas-style slot machines. / Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau / BY SCOTT HIAASEN, MARC CAPUTO AND JAY WEAVER / Oct. 01, 2009

Former Pottstown rec chief headed to trial on theft charges

PA - The former director of Pottstown Parks and Recreation must answer to charges in Montgomery County Court that he allegedly stole more than $15,000 from the Fourth of July committee of which he was chairman. Reber "estimated he spent $500 per week on lottery tickets," and when a ticket won he would make a "50/50 split of the winnings, keeping half to 'continue my effort to return the funds through my lottery addiction,'" / The Pottstown Mercury / By Carl Hessler Jr. / October 2, 2009

Former building inspectors, reputed mob figures, charged in NYC construction corruption

NY - Six former New York City building inspectors, two reputed Lucchese crime family leaders and more than two dozen other people and businesses were indicted Thursday in a sprawling racketeering case that ranges from construction bribes to gun trafficking. Three members of the Lucchese organization actually worked at the city Department of Buildings as inspectors, two of them juggling their government jobs with drug and weapons trafficking, loan sharking and illegal gambling behind the scenes, prosecutors said. / Associated Press / JENNIFER PELTZ / October 1, 2009

Former federal agent says N.J. company seeking A.C. work license has mafia ties

NJ - Far from being the self-made man he says he is, Joseph N. Merlino was actually set up in the construction business by his father, a convicted Mafia killer, a retired federal corruption investigator testified today. Merlino and his mother are seeking a license that would permit their company, Bayshore Rebar of Pleasantville, to work in the Atlantic City casino industry. Chance said Merlino listed his wife as the owner to get around requirements that a portion of some contracts be awarded to companies owned by women or minorities, and had his son on the payroll as well. He testified... That Phyllis Merlino and the younger Joseph Merlino were listed as company officers, but Lawrence Merlino was the real boss in the mid-1980s. / By The Associated Press / September 28, 2009

Full Tilt accused of flouting US gambling rules

- Full Tilt Poker, one of the largest online poker sites still serving the US, was accused in a lawsuit on Thursday of being controlled from within the country, raising questions about the effectiveness of a 2006 ban on US internet gambling. Full Tilt's main website does not warn US residents that online gambling is illegal, and it states its poker room was designed by well-known American professional poker players including Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer. Stopped accepting bets from US computers and agreed to a legal settlement in which it accepted it had violated laws relating to bank fraud, illegal gambling and wire fraud between 2001 and its exit from the US market in 2006. / Financial Times / By Joseph Menn / October 3 2009

Gambling Debt Leads To Arrest Warrant For Former Pitcher Chacon

NV - Athletes have enough money and star power that they always do not have to pay their gambling debts as soon as they occur. They are often issued markers from Las Vegas casinos, debts that can be paid at a later date. Former pitcher Shawn Chacon is being accused of running up a $150,000 debt at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, then failing to pay. The felony charge... / / By Tom Jones / October 3, 2009

Greer Police Benefit From Seized Poker Assets

SC - U.S. Attorney Walt Wilkins handed the Greer Police Department a cheque for $1.3 million Wednesday following the successful prosecution of Billy Joe Hindman who operated around 25 illegal gambling businesses in Spartanburg and Greenville Counties over a seven year period. Hindman pleaded guilty to running an illegal gambling operation and money laundering... $4 million in assets have been seized from Billy Joe Hindman... / ONLINEPOKER.NET / Author: B. Solomon / October 1st, 2009

Guilty In Gambling Promotion

TN - Two card dealers connected to an illegal poker house have been found guilty... / October 2, 2009

Hacker Attacks on Online Casinos Increasing

- Computer hackers are using new techniques to increase denial of service attacks on online casinos and other websites. Internet casinos have received the brunt of attacks, as the hackers, suspected of originating in Russia, seek to extort payment in exchange for ceasing the onslaught. / by Tom Weston / September 30, 2009


PA - Pennsylvania is taking a stand against illegal dog fighting, and paying the public to help them do it. Attorney General Tom Corbett says animal fighting is also associated with drug dealing, illegal gambling, gangs, and other crimes, and sets a poor example for children who may be exposed. / SEPTEMBER 28, 2009

Include treatment, Schlichter beseeches Ohio

OH - It is an uncomfortable but instructive exercise as Ohioans look likely to pass a casino bill. Schlichter is the former Ohio State quarterback who, from 1994 to 2006, spent 10 years in 44 jails and prisons for illegal gambling. Over the next three decades "chasing," as he calls compulsive gambling, would cost him more than $1.5 million, along with his marriage and professional career. Schlichter remembers walking away many nights after dropping hundreds or thousands of dollars. "Many times when I'd leave a casino, I'd drive around looking for a telephone pole," he says. "You felt like you wanted to die." The problem is that, by national estimates, at least 3 million people will walk into that casino - or onto that racetrack or sit down to a wagering site on their computer - and eventually risk and lose everything they have. And they will suck their families down with them. / By Krista Ramsey / October 2, 2009

Investigator Exclusive: Employee for Shaker Heights antiques authors indicted

OH - Terry Kovel and her late husband, Ralph, who wrote 97 books and a syndicated newspaper column together, are victims of a massive embezzlement scheme, Accused the Kovel's long-time bookkeeper, 72-year-old Irene Mastran, of Eastlake, of siphoning more than $500,000 from the Shaker Heights couple... Mastran took the money to fuel a gambling habit, / / Tom Meyer

John Liu's Public Meetings With Triad-Related Organization

NY - Below is a list of some of NYC Comptroller candidate John Liu's public meetings with the Fukien American Association, which has connections to human trafficking, prostitution, and other organized crime. According to Ko-lin Chin, a leading expert on Chinese gangs, the Fukien American Association is: "affiliated with a street gang, is involved in illegal gambling, and also the leadership of the organization is pretty much controlled by people who are involved by people in human smuggling." / Epoch Times / September 27, 2009

Jury awards $100 million to children of slain elderly couple

PA - An Atlantic County jury took less than 10 minutes yesterday to award $100 million in damages to the adult children of an elderly couple brutally slain in Pleasantville eight years ago. Wakefield, of Absecon, N.J., was convicted and sentenced to death for the January 2001 slayings. He was charged with beating and stabbing the couple to death, then setting their house on fire. Wakefield, who was 23, stole cash, other valuables, and the Hazards' car. He was arrested at an Atlantic City casino a day later. / Inquirer / By George Anastasia / Oct. 2, 2009

Lattimer native gets 6 to 23 months in theft case

PA - A 25-year-old Lattimer native was sentenced to six to 23 months in jail Friday for embezzling about $45,000 from his employer, Danko blamed his actions on a gambling addiction. / STANDARDSPEAKER.COM / September 28, 2009

Lawyers say bank robber traumatized from Iraq duty

MN - Lawyers for a man convicted of robbing a Fargo credit union say their client should get a break on prison time because he has a mental disorder caused by military service in Iraq. Tergesen became withdrawn and moody when he returned from Iraq and spent all of his time gambling on the Internet, his attorneys said. He has become addicted to gambling and this somehow caused him to commit a bank robbery," prosecutors said in court documents. / The Associated Press / By DAVE KOLPACK / October 02, 2009

Littman: Behold -- unsolved sports mysteries

- Was Michael Jordan suspended by NBA Commissioner David Stern after the 1993 season? The long-standing rumor is that Jordan was suspended for his gambling problems, but Stern allowed him to save face by "retiring." Referee Tim Donaghy, who bet on games he officiated and is now in jail for allegedly violating his probation, claimed Stern told officials to fix games during the 2006 play-offs and not to call fouls on star players. / By Adam Littman / 30 Sep, 2009

Man charged after illegal gambling machines found in Rusk County

TX - Sheriff's officials... Charged a man with keeping a gambling place and possession of marijuana. / October 03, 2009

Man wins lottery prize during embezzlement case

TX - A former radio executive who admitted that he embezzled to support an addiction to scratch-off lottery tickets found out during his preliminary hearing that he had won a $96,000 lottery prize. Money won by Paul W. Lyle will go toward paying restitution to his former employer, American Media Investments... / The Associated Press / Oct. 2, 2009

Men charged with using homeless men in fraud

AL - They bought new clothes for homeless and sent them into... Banks with checks that had been stolen from... Casinos... / WJHG.COM / Sep 28, 2009

Ministry director charged in the 1981 slaying of a Cabazon tribal leader

CA - A Miami-based ministry director was charged Thursday with killing a Cabazon Indian Reservation tribal leader and two other people in 1981 in an effort to stop them from exposing allegedly illegal activities on the reservation, according to court records. The Times reported in 1991 that the reservation's casino room was run by a reputed organized crime figure and that Alvarez, a tribe vice president, began complaining that money was being "skimmed." Shortly afterward, he and the two others were killed. / The Los Angeles Times / By Robert J. Lopez / October 2, 2009

Minor Hudson County official Harry Aceti pleads guilty to promoting sports gambling

NJ - An enforcement officer for the Hudson County Improvement Authority pleaded guilty Tuesday to promoting gambling... Aceti admitted that he was actively involved in promoting an illegal bookmaking operation in which he solicited individuals to place bets on sporting events... / 29 SEPTEMBER 2009

Mob Infiltration Is Seen in New York City Agency

NY - The latest indictment to hit the New York City Buildings Department taps into the usual themes of bribery, corruption and compromised inspections. But it also introduces a new criminal element into the agency: the mob. Manhattan prosecutors on Thursday accused the Luchese crime family of infiltrating the Buildings Department, saying that three of the family's associates found jobs as building inspectors and that others in the family, including top bosses, committed a wide range of crimes. Were also accused of more traditional mob-related offenses, including bribery, gambling, drug trafficking, extortion and loan sharking. Illegal sports betting also played a part in the indictment that Mr. Morgenthau brought, which said that two bosses of the crime family, Joseph DiNapoli and Matthew Madonna, were accused of being paid a portion of the proceeds from other activities exposed in the investigation, including illegal sports betting. / By CHRISTINE HAUSER / October 2, 2009

Morris begins prison sentence

FL - Morris, who pleaded guilty... Theft, fraud and money laundering, He used the money for gambling... / / Tom McLaughlin / 2009-09-28

PayPal Increases Presence in Online Gambling With Deal

- PayPal used to be widely used in online casinos, but was pulled out of the market... When the United States government accused them of violating the PATRIOT Act and the Wire Wager Act by transferring funds to overseas gambling sites. The bribe settlement was for $10 million. / By: Jeremy Schrute / October 1st, 2009

Pitbull Poker Owners Arrested

- Online poker room Pitbull Poker had shut its doors... Many in the online poker community suspected Pitbull of engaging in "cheating" schemes, accusations the ownership flatly denied. Apparently, there are some arrests and right now the employees are in court explaining the situation to the authorities, to explain that the owners are "flight risk" and should not be allowed out of Costa Rica.

Planet Hollywood busts a part of safety push

NV - The arrests of six Planet Hollywood Resort employees in the past two months are part of a cooperative effort with law enforcement agencies to rid the resort of workers who could jeopardize the casino licensee's standing with casino regulators, resort officials insist. Planet Hollywood Resort agreed to a $500,000 fine, and could be fined an additional $250,000 if another complaint is filed against the hotel-casino before July 31, 2011. Were arrested on charges of selling liquor to a minor and allowing a minor to gamble. Police spokesman Bill Cassell said the two men allegedly also allowed prostitutes to operate and alerted them when vice officers were on the property. Metro's vice unit originally alerted Planet Hollywood... It had received information that the bartenders were tipping off prostitutes, some of whom might be under age. / Las Vegas Gaming Wire / by Arnold M. Knightly / 29 September 2009

Prosecutors are cracking down on phone card machines used for gambling

OK - State prosecuters are going after convenience stores with inconveniently illegal operations. The popular machines can be found in stores, bowling alleys and bingo halls - an attraction that's about to change. "If they don't remove them from the stores within thirty days of the letter, then we will direct law enforcement to investigate those crimes, to seize the machines and make arrests," / JOLEEN CHANEY / October 3, 2009

Report outlines security unit hazing, assault

- Besides the abuse and hazing allegations, the command's 2007 investigation found: * Gambling, fraternization and socializing with prostitutes were commonplace among some of the unit's sailors. / By Andrew Tilghman / Oct 2, 2009

Restitution, prison in Walmart theft

IN - A judge also ordered Brett A. Singer, To undergo counseling for a gambling addiction... Admitting to taking more than $100,000 from... Walmart store. / The Journal Gazette / Rebecca S. Green / September 29, 2009

Seven Days of Rage: The Deadly Crime Spree of the Craigslist Killer

CT - Here was a guy who loved to gamble. He made 19 trips to Foxwood's Casino on Connecticut in 2009 before he was arrested, Consider that Foxwood's is a two-hour drive each way from Boston where Markoff lived. If he only gambled for an hour, he would have spent a minimum of five hours feeding his gambling habit. None of these factors in and of themselves leads someone to become a murderer but psychiatrists I spoke to for the book said that these disparate personas could easily cause a "fractured identity" that could lead to violence. / By Paul LaRosa / SEPTEMBER 30, 2009

Several charged in NYC construction corruption

NY - Six former New York City building inspectors, two reputed Lucchese crime family leaders and more than two dozen other people and businesses were indicted Thursday in a sprawling racketeering case that ranges from construction bribes to gun trafficking. The encyclopedic indictment grew out of a gambling investigation and ultimately spanned from a betting operation in Costa Rica to construction bribes in the Bronx, Loan sharking and illegal gambling behind the scenes, / Associated Press / By JENNIFER PELTZ / Oct 2, 2009

Shawn Chacon Latest Ballplayer to Default on Casino Markers

TX - The district attorney representing Clark County, Nevada, has issued an arrest warrant for former major league pitcher Shawn Chacon for failing to pay his casino gambling debts. Caesars Palace officials filed a complaint charging Chacon took out $150,000 in gaming markers and never paid them. / by Preston Lewis / October 2, 2009

Speaker to give first-hand account of addiction

- Alcohol. Marijuana. Anabolic steroids, Ecstasy. Compulsive Gambling. Cocaine. Crystal meth. Sounds like a roadmap for disaster and tragedy. And it was... He enrolled in college, but continued to use drugs, adding anabolic steroids. "Casinos opened when I was 21, and I became a compulsive gambler. I liked the lifestyle. The high-roller. The parties. The alcohol. The casinos treated me like a king," he said. But that lifestyle could not be sustained. In the early '90s, he filed for bankruptcy. A couple of arrests followed. He could not keep a job. He and his wife divorced. / Meridian Star / September 28, 2009

Tax sales miss Sharkey's home

NY - Former Luzerne County top court manager William Sharkey's West Hazleton property was kept out of county back-tax sales in 2004, 2005 and 2006, even though he failed to pay his debt, county records show. Sharkey, the former court administrator, was charged on Feb. 3 with stealing more than $70,000 in illegal gambling funds that had been turned over to the county by the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement. He pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing. / Times / By Jennifer Learn-Andes / October 3, 2009

The Mendelsohn case is like 'Clue'; here's your cheat sheet

FL - The indictment of Alan Mendelsohn has fueled loads of speculation as to who's who (PAC 1, Contributor 3, etc.). Contributor 3: Danny Adkins, whose company Mardi Gras Racing and Casinos tapped Mendelsohn to help it and other gaming companies wage an $18 million battle to legalize Vegas-style slot machines. In 2005, Mendelsohn registered to lobby for Steve Hull who in turn registered to lobby for Mardi Gras' predecessor company. / TAMPABAY.COM / By Shannon Colavecchio / October 02, 2009

Theft of NC Funds Worse than First Reported

CA - The first ever neighborhood council embezzlement case ... not related to the cases in this report ... surfaced a year and a half ago. A neighborhood council officer withdrawing funds, at a casino, to support his gambling habit. Some $30,000 was involved over a three year period. The man charged was convicted. / By Ken Draper / Sept. 25, 2009

Underage Gambling Nets Two Missouri Casinos A Heavy Fine

MO - Pinnacle Entertainment and Ameristar Casino Inc., were caught by the Gaming Commission. Pinnacle was fined $60,000 and Ameristar was fined $25,000. Ameristar believes that the fine was a little overboard. The Gaming Commission wanted to make it very clear that underage gambling will not be accepted. / / By April Gardner / October 1, 2009

Victim's daughter tracked suspect in Cabazon killings

CA - For years, Rachel Begley tracked the man suspected of killing her father and two other people in 1981. All three victims were gunned down in an apparent plot to silence them before they blew the whistle on corruption at the Cabazon Indian casino near Indio. Begley's efforts paid off with the arrest of 52-year-old James Hughes, the director of a Miami-based ministry and self-described former Mafia hit man. Hughes recalled a hit when he "walked into the man's house one day, pulled out my pistol, and put a bullet in everybody's head. . . . I had been paid to kill one man but had killed half a dozen people. The rest were in the wrong place at the wrong time." When Begley began looking into the Octopus case, she was overwhelmed. The stories went in every direction. There were connections with Saudi arms dealers, Nicaraguan Contras, the manufacturing of weapons on Indian land, renegade private security companies and a journalist who apparently committed suicide while investigating it. / By David Kelly / October 3, 2009

WVa yanks company's video gambling license

WV - Lottery Commission has denied a license renewal to a Clarksburg company involved in a January police raid that seized illegal raffle machines. The company was indicted on 48 federal charges including racketeering, illegal gambling and bribery. / by The Associated Press / September 30, 2009

Walmart Thief Sentenced To Four Years For Stealing More Than $100,000 For Casino Trip

IN - Singer must undergo counseling for a gambling addiction, Police had arrested him in Iowa at a casino. / Indiana's NewsCenter

Willowbrook butcher gets 24 months in prison in mob gambling operation

NY - Sentenced to 24 months in prison for his role in a mob-linked gambling operation. Collecting unlawful debts in a sports betting ring that federal prosecutors said brought in $2,000 a day for the Bonanno crime family. / By Staten Island Advance / September 29, 2009

suspects in bird-fighting case granted AR

CT - Eighteen of the 19 men who allegedly took part in a bird-fighting operation out of a Shelton home were granted accelerated rehabilitation... After the July 26 raid, 19 people were charged with cruelty to animals and illegal gambling, police said, Shelton police had been tipped off that there was illegal gambling with the birds taking place at the house and had been investigating for several months before the raid. / CONNECTICUT POST / By Kate Ramunni / 09/29/2009

International Gambling Crimes

Bank robber runs out of luck

Canada - For a man with a serious gambling addiction, 57-year-old Gregory Martin Whalen must have felt he really hit the jackpot when he robbed the Scotiabank... "She [teller] was anxious about the gun," he said. Whalen was arrested without incident late Thursday while playing a VLT machine at a small club on Ludlow Street on the west side. Duty counsel John King suggested the "amateurish way" Whalen went about robbing the bank amounted to a cry for help from someone with a serious gambling addiction. / TELEGRAPH-J0URNAL / MIKE MULLEN / October 3rd, 2009

Bike thief jailed over 80 offences

UK - A serial cycle thief who fed his gambling addiction by stealing more than 80 bicycles from railway stations has been jailed... / Press Association

Blackpool bookies in underage gambling storm

UK - TWO thirds of Blackpool betting shops have allowed children to play highly-addictive one armed bandits. In Trading Standards' latest crackdown on underage gambling, 26 out of 39 Blackpool betting shops failed to stop children playing machines boasting #500 jackpots. Current laws prevent under 18s from playing high jackpot machines. Blackpool Trading Standards boss Tim Coglan said he was shocked by the rate of failure at betting shops, coming so soon after 29 out of 31 arcades failed similar tests. "Our number one priority is the protection of children and I can't bear the thought of them wandering the streets indulging in activities like underage drinking and gambling, which can be very dangerous." / 1st October 2009

Casino manager jailed for theft

Australia - A former Crown Casino manager has been jailed for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund his gambling addiction. He stole more than $280,000... / ABC News / Oct 1, 2009

Chase Is On, for Criminals, in the Champions League

Europe - UEFA, the ruling body for soccer in 53 European countries, confirmed Friday that its investigation into match fixing in the Champions League and the Europa League had grown to 40 matches from 26 two years ago. The matches under suspicion largely involve Eastern European teams long associated with illegal betting cartels, "Match fixing represents a grave danger in the world of football," Platini, the UEFA president... "If you know who is winning, there is no reason to play anymore. Buying players and referees is what worries me the most." UEFA said that three Macedonian clubs were being investigated, and that one suspicious match involves FK Milano's losing by the aggregate score of 12-2 in the second qualifying round of the Europa League in July. Gianluigi Buffon, the Italian national team goalkeeper, won his World Cup medal despite being charged with betting on soccer games. A Chinese businessman, Was arrested... But Dhont described him as a "straw man," a cog in the business of Asian gambling syndicates that operate out of places like Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. China has shut down clubs and jailed referees in recent years. Liverpool goalkeeper, was tried twice in the courts, along with other players and a Malaysian businessman accused of conspiring to fix a game to benefit a betting syndicate. / By ROB HUGHES / September 28, 2009

Father Uses Daughter as Gambling Stake and Loses

India - A resident of Malda, West Bengal, ran out of gambling cash and used his sixteen-year-old daughter as a stake in a game of cards, only to lose her. Neighbors of Ismail, the father, say he is addicted to gambling and owed many in his village of Satgharia money from loans to cover gaming debts. / by A.J. Maldonado / September 30, 2009

Gambling bill corruption turns into saga

Poland - The disclosure of the conversation between the head of the Civic Platform (PO) parliamentary club, Zbigniew Chlebowski, and a businessman from the gambling sector which was recorded by the Central Anti Corruption Bureau (CBA) will turn out to be the largest scandal thus far for the government led by Donald Tusk since 2007. Mr Tusk said that he sees no grounds to dismiss Sports Minister Mirosaw Drzewiecki. The tapes revealed by the CBA show that Mr Chlebowski and Mr Drzewiecki were trying to block changes in the gambling bill which would have been unfavorable for the businessman. / 2nd October 2009

Jail for Crown Casino social club thefts

Australia - The former boss of Crown Casino's staff social club has been jailed for stealing $280,000 in club funds and blowing most of it on the pokies. At the height of his gambling habit, Smith was slotting $2,000 or more into pokie machines a week. / THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD / October 1, 2009

Judge jails Crown's ex-social club chief

Australia - The former boss of Crown Casino's staff social club has been jailed for stealing $280,000 in club funds and blowing most of it on the pokies. At the height of his gambling habit, Smith was slotting $2000 or more into pokie machines a week. / October 1, 2009

MP's brother ordered to pay back #200,000

UK - THE disgraced brother of Dudley South MP Ian Pearson has been ordered to pay back #200,000 that he stole from clients through his work as a financial adviser... Pearson told the court he had squandered every penny of his ill-gotten gains on a gambling addiction... / 29th September 2009

Peshawar Police held 19 gamblers during crackdown against anti social elements

Pakistan - Police on the directives of the Capital City Police Officer Peshawar, during the raid on den gambling have arrested 19 gamblers and recovered thousands of gambling amounts. / Online International News Network / 9/28/09

Princess Beatrice's ex arrested

UK - Britain's Princess Beatrice's ex-boyfriend has been arrested and charged with a string of offences in Australia. Liuzzo, 27, was picked up by police on the country's Gold Coast after crashing a #40,000 hire car into traffic lights while reportedly fleeing Jupiters Casino - where he had been staying - without paying his bill. / From Monsters and / By BANG / Sep 29, 2009

Report: Polish politicians lobbied for gambling companies

Poland - Poland's sports minister and the head of the ruling Civic Platform party lobbied on behalf of gambling companies to block a change in law that would have required gambling companies to pay 469 million zloty (162 million dollars) in additional taxes, Ryszard Sobiesiak and Jan Kosek, owners of the Casinos Poland chain, pressured Zbigniew Chlebowski, the head of Civic Platform, and Sports Minister Miroslaw Drzewiecki to remove a provision requiring additional taxes... Opposition party head Jaroslaw Kaczynski, however, called it the 'biggest scandal' in recent Polish politics... / Oct 1, 2009

Security guard stole from McDonald's to pay for gambling

Australia - A SECURITY guard employed to collect money from McDonald's restaurants across Ballarat stole $5000 to fund a gambling addiction, His client had developed a gambling problem around the time of the theft. "He had become more and more in debt," / THE COURIER / 30/09/2009

Social worker stole council money to pay for gambling

UK - "A social services team leader stole ?21,000 of council cash to fund his chronic gambling addiction when he was mentally unwell. Bets of more than ?150,000 on an internet gaming site... / / 28/09/2009

Stolen funds went on pokies, flights, and 'adult content'

Australia - Smith, 53, eventually stole $281,000 from the club's accounts. Most of it was spent on trips to city pokie venues, A psychological assessment classified Smith as a pathological gambler. / THEAGE.COM.AU / ADRIAN LOWE / October 2, 2009

Swedbank SEB files appeal against Singapore APB ruling

Singapore - The former finance manager of APB's Singapore unit, was jailed for 42 years for using forged documents to cheat SEB, HVB and two other banks of S$117 million ($81 million) to feed a gambling addiction. / 09.29.09


Australia - Tourism Whitsundays... Former financial adviser to the organisation, Sue Riley, was jailed... After pleading guilty to stealing the money to support an online gambling habit. / September 28, 2009

Yet Another Reminder - Is Handball Really Prepared

European Union - During the last several years, there have been several indications about the increasing prevalence of match fixing in European soccer, and UEFA has made statements about its efforts to be on top of the situation. In the Asian continent, several countries have had to close down their soccer leagues and clean up the mess created by the effects of illegal gambling. With increasing frequency, we hear about suspicions and investigations of tennis matches in ATP tournaments. Again, gambling is the root cause. UEFA indicated openly to the media that the number of matches under investigation had skyrocketed, But the impression is that the operators of the illegal gambling entities remain one step ahead! / / September 29, 2009

Cunning con man gets time served

Canada - In reality, Gann was a ruthless American con man with a gambling habit. He lied that he was a $3.5-million-a-year investment analyst or math genius to bilk gullible people into lending him hundreds of dollars. One victim gave Gann her $2,000 laptop computer and $300 in cash after hosting him on a Niagara Falls day trip. / The Toronto Sun / By SAM PAZZANO / October 2, 2009