Latest News
8/02/09 to 8/08/09

National Gambling Crimes

3 arrested in Blu-ray DVD theft ring

FL - The Florida Department of Law Enforcement found thousands of dollars worth of DVDs and other items when it executed a search warrant on Tuesday, August 4, 2009, at the home of Gregory Marinitz, whom officials say ran a multimillion-dollar theft ring. "Our investigation reveals he has a significant gambling problem," / Orlando Sentinel / Anika Myers Palm / August 5, 2009

Atlanta man used air pistol to rob South Carolina banks, police say

GA - Jason Lamar Storms has been charged with using a toy pistol to rob at least 10 banks, and police say he shipped the stolen money to Las Vegas. It looks like after he robbed our bank, Storms drove to Florida, flew to Vegas and had the money shipped there in four separate bags," Rodgers said. "He stayed in Vegas a couple of weeks and flew back to Atlanta in mid-June, so it sounds like he may have a gambling problem, too." / By Rick Spruill / July 31, 2009

Erotic club owner: I did nothing illegal

FL - Judge was arrested on charges of keeping a gambling house and operating an illegal bottle club. Two patrons were arrested on drug charges. Judge insists the allegations of condoned drug use and prostitution at his club are false, and that he was merely running a facility where "like-minded" couples, after paying a suggested $10 membership fee, could convene. / By Suevon Lee / August 3, 2009

Even Tribal Casino Gambling Illegal in Texas

TX - A US District Court judge found this week that a casino run by the Tigua tribe near El Paso is operating illegally and must shut down. The tribal casino had attempted to use gray areas in the law to run slot machines that paid out in gift cards rather than cash, Continued operations may result in daily fines of $500. / by JulieWong / August 5, 2009

Ex-Morris lawyer pleads guilty to stealing $267K from new job

NJ - A disbarred Morristown attorney pleaded guilty Tuesday in Bergen County to stealing $267,000 from a Haskell business for which he prepared tax returns, a prosecutor there said. Lynch said Luhn admitted to having gambling and alcohol addictions which fueled his thefts. / BY MATT MANOCHIO / August 4, 2009

Ex-worker must repay $200,000

MA - A former medical secretary was placed on probation yesterday and ordered to pay back $200,000 she admitted stealing from the doctor for whom she worked. Ms. Grensavitch also was ordered, as conditions of probation, to continue to attend Gamblers Anonymous, to advise any future employers of her conviction, and to avoid acting in any fiduciary capacity. / TELEGRAM & GAZETTE / By Gary V. Murray / August 5, 2009

Former football coach sentenced

TX - A former Mesquite High School football coach accused of theft agreed to a plea deal Friday and received two years of probation and a $500 fine, according to Dallas County court records. Halpin was arrested May 31 for an enhanced felony charge of theft for pawning Mesquite ISD equipment to support a gambling addiction which came to light in 2008 after other coached noticed several items missing and reappearing. / By Stephanie Flemmons / August 5, 2009

Former Foxwoods dealer reaches plea deal in cheating case

CT - A former Foxwoods Resort Casino dealer agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors Wednesday and will not face time in prison for his role in a craps cheating ring. Alfred was facing felony charges of conspiracy to commit cheating at gambling and cheating at gambling. / 8/6/2009

Former medical secretary ordered to repay $200,000

CT - A former medical secretary was placed on probation today and ordered to pay back $200,000 she admitted stealing from the doctor for whom she worked. $200,000... Mr. O'Leary said Ms. Grensavitch got access to the ATM card when Dr. Young left his wallet in his office to go to the operating room to perform surgery. He said Ms. Grensavitch had sizable gambling losses at a Connecticut casino at the time of the thefts. / TELEGRAM & GAZETTE / By Gary V. Murray / August 4, 2009

Former Penrod Society treasurer named in lawsuit

IN - A lawsuit that accuses him of taking nearly all of the organization's money. $380,000... His client had a gambling problem. / Aug 5, 2009

Former Tucson Museum of Art accountant pleads guilty to theft

AZ - A former accountant for the Tucson Museum of Art is facing up to 12 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to stealing more than $973,000 from the organization over a five-year period. Authorities have been unable to recover any of the money and Sons apparently lost it gambling, / Arizona Daily Star / By Kim Smith / 08.03.2009

Ghost In The ATM

NV - A Defcon attendee spotted a fake ATM nestled in a security blind spot at the hotel. It is unknown how long the machine was there, or whether there are other fake ATMs in other casinos. / Taylor Buley / 08.02.09

Henderson: Woman indicted on gambling charges

TX - Jury indicted a Henderson woman... In connection with an illegal gambling operation disguised as an Internet cafe... Illegal gambling business and money laundering, / FROM STAFF REPORTS / August 07, 2009

Illegal Gambling Operation Busted In Florida, Nine Arrested

FL - Nine people were arrested in what was a join sting operation between the Sheriff's Office and Haines City Police Department. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms were also involved in raiding Amos' Tavern at 200 US Highway 17-92 North. / / By April Gardner / August 1, 2009

Kansas casino partner linked to son's sex scandal

KS - A Washington sex scandal involving a Nevada senator could become a problem for a Sumner County casino. Kansas Lottery officials and state legislators say they're concerned about casino proponent Michael Ensign's role in making $96,000 in payments to the family of a woman who had a now well-publicized affair with Ensign's son, Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev. Michael Ensign, a casino multimillionaire, is one of two named principals in the Prairie Sky casino project... The Ensign affair has triggered complaints that the senator and his parents, Michael and Sharon Ensign, may have violated federal campaign law with the payments... On July 9, the senator confirmed that payments had been made by his parents to his ex-mistress and her family in April 2008, about the time they left the senator's employment. The statement also explained that the $96,000 went to the Hampton family as a bundle of $12,000 gifts from each of the Ensign parents to Cynthia and Doug Hampton and two of their children. At the time, $12,000 was the maximum amount that could be given as a gift without triggering tax liabilities. Whether the payments were legal or not, "I'm not sure that would pass the ethics test," said state Rep. Vince Wetta, D-Wellington. / The Wichita Eagle / BY DION LEFLER / Aug. 02, 2009

Kansas Casino Travesty Takes A Scandalous Turn

KS - Now, they can add a scandalous affair to the list of things... Michael Ensign is one of the principles in a Prairie Sky casino proposal. His son [NV Sen. John Ensign (R)], has had an affair, and allegations are surfacing that Ensign paid the family of the woman $96,000. Should it turn out to be true that the family violated federal campaign laws with the payments, it would put the casino proposal in Kansas in jeopardy. / / By Tom Jones / August 3, 2009

Man Charged With Conducting Illegal Gambling Operation

UT - Wednesday proved to be a not so lucky day for one Salt Lake man as he was arrested for participating in a illegal gambling operation last year. Under suspicion since October of last year, police began an investigation against a company registered under the name of Fast Action Internet Cafe. / Casino News / by Bonnie / August 2nd, 2009

Man accused of using southwestern Ill. college's computer lab for identity theft

IL - A lab worker noticed that Cornelius had gotten a Social Security number on the Internet for an Arizona resident born in the mid-1950s and used it to register on two gambling Web sites. / Associated Press / August 3, 2009

Mugging for $100 in casino chips in parking garage

NY - The robbery of $100 in chips from the Turning Stone Casino is under investigation by state police after a mugging at the parking garage Tuesday afternoon. Someone punched him in the face... / Aug 5, 2009

NCAA bans championships in betting states

- The NCAA approved a policy Thursday that would ban states, such as Delaware, from hosting championship events if they allow fans to bet on single games. Chancellors and presidents from all three NCAA divisions approved the measure, saying it applies to "any session of an NCAA championship," though it does not apply to states that allow parlay betting, lottery tickets, pull tabs and sports pools. A study completed in 2003 showed 17 of 388 basketball players and 102 of 2,000 football players who were surveyed admitted they had taken money to play poorly, knew a teammate who took money to play poorly, had been threatened or harmed because of sports wagering, were contacted by an outside source to share inside information or provided inside information about a game. / AP / By MICHAEL MAROT / Aug. 06, 2009

Online Gambling Indictment Shows Government Going Opposite Ways

- An indictment has been handed down to Douglas Rennick, a Canadian man who has allegedly set up bank accounts for online gambling companies to pay customers. Rennick's indictment is further evidence that the government is going in two separate directions when it comes to Internet gambling laws. The problem is that the UIGEA does not define what forms of gambling are legal or illegal, outside of sports gambling. / / By Larry Rutherford / August 6, 2009

Pa. man accused of hacking into casino computer

PA - Accused of disrupting... Casino's computer system, including access cards used for gambling. / The Associated Press / Aug. 6, 2009

Police Seize Gambling Machines

OK - Sheriff's Department have seized several illegal gaming machines... / August 6, 2009

Police say bird fights took place in Danbury

CT - Shelton wasn't the only city where saffron finches fought to the death. Sources told police the fights usually began at 7 a.m. and lasted several hours, followed by parties, and attracted gamblers from Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. Police charged the men with illegal gambling and cruelty to animals, / By Michael P. Mayko / 08/07/2009

Police sources: 8-liners being sold back to illegal game rooms

TX - Confiscated eight-liner machines are reportedly being sold back to illegal gambling businesses. "The gambling wouldn't be so bad, but it brings in other crime," "[Crime like] following senior citizens home and robbing people in their driveway because you know they have money." On eBay, machines that have been seized are being auctioned off for cash. / 11 News / By Jeff McShan / August 6, 2009

Retired Cop, 10 Others Nabbed In Sports Betting Ring

NY - Eleven individuals have been indicted on charges of unlawfully operating a sports betting enterprise in Queens County that took in $13 million over a 19-month period by accepting wagers on various sporting events, including professional and college football, basketball, hockey and baseball. Participants often use threats, intimidation and even physical force to collect debts. The top two defendants - Michael Mildenberger, 71, and James Rossi, 49, a reputed Genovese crime family associate - are alleged to be co-bookmakers of the operation. Included among the defendants is Joseph R. Sofia, 63, who is a retired New York City police officer. / 5 August, 2009

Teen's bets cost Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort $115,000

NJ - But this would-be high roller actually was a teenager whose gambling spree between March 2007 and April 2008 cost Hilton a $115,000 fine Wednesday in one of the most egregious cases of underage gambling in Atlantic City's 31-year history of casinos. Bally's Atlantic City was fined $157,500 in November for allowing a 20-year-old woman to play the slot machines and gaming tables during an 18-day gambling binge in 2006. Kassekert said the penalty against Hilton was so severe because the casino ignored warnings from the state Division of Gaming Enforcement that the teenager was gambling there. Investigators tipped off Hilton on April 7, 2008, but the casino allowed him to gamble the following day. Last year, 523 underage gamblers were caught inside Atlantic City's 11 casinos, state statistics show. / By Donald Wittkowski / August 5, 2009

Three jailed for refusing to testify before grand jury looking into online gambling

MO - Three men were taken to prison this week for refusing to testify in front of a federal grand jury investigating Internet gambling. Members of Cascone's family said it involved online gambling. / The Kansas City Star / By TONY RIZZO / Jul. 31, 2009

Three men locked up for refusing to rat out others in gambling probe

MO - The FBI searched the Northland homes of people who "have been investigated in the past for organized crime in Kansas City," Are in jail for contempt of court after refusing to testify before a grand jury about local Internet gambling operations. / News / By Justin Kendall / Aug. 4 2009

Two Men Charged in 2001 Killing of Karaoke Club Guard

NY - Federal prosecutors announced murder indictments Wednesday against two men in the 2001 killing of a security guard at a karaoke club in Queens. The men were members and associates of the Ah Jun, an organized crime enterprise... The Ah Jun engaged in murder, extortion, illegal gambling and narcotics trafficking, among other crimes. / By Simon Akam / August 5, 2009

US Government to Unseal Portions of Online Poker Seizure Warrant

- After announcing the indictment of an individual connected to payment processors dealing with online poker sites... The US Attorney's Office... Is considering allowing the unsealing of information contained within seizure warrants... The US Attorneys Office... Claims that some $40 million of funds transferred between online poker rooms and payment processors were used for laundering of monies. / Aug 6, 2009

Underage Gambling Leads To Large Fine For Atlantic City Hilton

NJ - The latest case of underage gambling in Atlantic City makes it appear that the casinos in the city must be severely disregarding gambling age requirements. Casino Control Commission fined the AC Hilton $115,000, A nineteen year old was given a players club card... / / By Terry Goodwin / August 5, 2009

Vartanian accused of stealing $500,000

NV - The businessman who promised to breathe new life into Fresno's troubled Granite Park development was charged Tuesday with stealing more than half a million dollars from customers of his luxury-car dealership. He already faces charges for an alleged assault on his wife, and he was freed from jail only after posting bail and agreeing to resolve gambling debts in Las Vegas. Authorities say Vartanian and his wife argued over a $135,000 watch in a northeast Fresno home on June 26. He slapped her, threatened her with a large kitchen knife, sat on her and tried to suffocate her with a pillow, police said. / The Fresno Bee / By Pablo Lopez / Aug. 04, 2009

Woman admits embezzling

MN - An Apple Valley, Minn., woman has admitted to embezzling about $1 million from veterans to support a gambling habit. Hanson was an appointed fiduciary for 33 veterans. In her plea agreement, she admitted to taking money from the veterans' bank accounts from 2006 to 2008. She also admitted to filing false documents to cover up the embezzlement. / 8-4-09

Woman pleads guilty to stealing $973K in 5 years from Tucson Museum of Art

AZ - A former accountant for the Tucson Museum of Art is facing up to 12 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to stealing more than $973,000 from the organization over a five-year period. Authorities have been unable to recover any of the money and Sons apparently lost it gambling, Assistant Attorney General Mike Jette said. A search warrant affidavit filed in Pima County Superior Court said police had investigated a Desert Diamond Casino players card in Sons' name. Sons had logged "approximately $2.4 million" in casino play. / ARIZONA DAILY STAR / By Kim Smith / 08.04.2009

International Gambling Crimes

'Immediate action' against illegal gaming arcades

Malta - Finance Minister... Had told Parliament... That the rules to govern gaming shops, some of which were illegal, would introduce control over entrance, alcohol abuse and amounts played by individuals. They would regulate the minimum age for entry into gaming shops, location, advertising and the number of machines in each outlet. / 6th August 2009

Betting shops and strip clubs stand as monuments to New Labour morality

UK - It is a scandal that after 12 years of a Labour government there are more betting shops, lap-dancing clubs, gambling arcades and casinos than when they came to power. Harold Wilson once called the Labour party "a moral crusade" or nothing, but when it comes to licensing the public sphere the government has ditched morality for the market. So the Gambling Act 2005 began a wholesale deregulation of the high street by allowing a free for all in betting shops. A Labour government felt it had no philosophical right to arbitrate on the morality of mass gambling and its wretched social consequences. Similar obstacles are in place to undermine objections to lap-dancing clubs. Legislation in 2003 allowed clubs to be licensed in exactly the same way as a pub or cafe, paving the way for their numbers to double to more than 300. A report by the Lilith Project (pdf), which looked at lap-dancing in Camden Town, north London, found that in the three years before and after the opening of four large lap-dancing clubs in the area, incidents of rape rose by 33%, while indecent assault rose by 55%. / / Tristram Hunt / 6 August 2009

Canada Man Faces Fraud Charges Related To Internet Gambling

Canada - Federal prosecuters indicted a Canadian resident on charges of bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling offenses related to his alleged role in processing more than $350 million for Internet gambling companies. $565.9 million, / DOW JONES NEWSWIRES / AUGUST 6, 2009

Carer spared prison for stealing from blind man

UK - A 64-YEAR-OLD carer with a gambling addiction stole ?8,000 from a blind man. Widow Barbara Purdy, 64, of Chewton Street, Eastwood, helped herself to cash from Robert Bentley's bank account. Nottingham Crown Court was told he described her as his "lifeline" and would have asked her to marry him. / August 06, 2009

Casino Gambling And Prostitution, Brazil Says No In Raid

Brazil - In Brazil, authorities have uncovered a major prostitution ring in which 200 women in the past year were being sent to the US and other countries as prostitutes. Las Vegas and prostitution have been connected for as long as the city has been the gambling capital of the world. High rollers have become accustomed to having their choice of thousands of prostitutes when visiting Las Vegas. / / By April Gardner / August 2, 2009

Crown seeks jail term for former CFL star

Canada - In May, Vancouver ProvincAial Court judge Conni Bagnall convicted former CFL star Rod Woodward of defrauding two elderly clients of $185,000 in 1999 and 2000, while he was working as an investment adviser at Investors Group in Vancouver. Needing a quick fix, he persuaded two clients, Both elderly widows, to buy Black Sea shares at $1 each. Woodward denied he had sold any shares to his clients. He said he had simply borrowed the money and intended to repay the loans by selling his shares once they were listed on a stock exchange, but they never were listed. The judge concluded that Woodward had engaged in "deliberate and repeated deceitful conduct" to obtain money from his clients, had committed fraud by misrepresenting the purpose for which he was taking their money, and had committed theft by converting those funds to his own use. Menkes said his client had become consumed by his gambling habit, that he had intended to pay back his victims and had suffered much anxiety and embarrassment in the 10 years it has taken to investigate and adjudicate this case. / Vancouver Sun / By David Baines / August 5, 2009

Driver stole ?100k of iron from Corus plant

UK - A LORRY driver stole more than ?100,000-worth of iron he was supposed to transport from Redcar's Corus plant. He stole more than 80 tons of valuable plate iron, sold it to pay gambling debts, then tried to point the finger of blame at two other innocent employees. / Evening Gazette / by Gareth Lightfoot / Aug 4 2009

Gambler fleeced worthy causes

UK - A CONMAN who dishonestly obtained money from worthy organisations across the country to fund his gambling habit has been caught. He also conned ?250 out of a minister from The Seventh Day Adventist Church in Dalton, Cumbria by saying his wife was marooned after losing her car keys. Kerr also defrauded cash out of the Quakers Society, a convent, a church and a Christian Fellowship... / 03 August 2009

Gambling racket busted, 14 held

India - Acting on a tip-off, a police team of Shri Kishnapuri police sta-tion raided the Boring Road office of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) ward councillor Amrita Singh and busted a gambling `adda (joint)' that was being run there. The raid led to catch of the culprits and seizure of a substantial sum of money in cash. The police team picked up 14 youths from the `adda' for being involved in gambling activity. / TNN / 6 August 2009

Husband guilty of strangling wife after she insulted family

UK - A husband who strangled his wife after she called his family rude was yesterday found guilty of murdering her. Mrs Kamal said Khan had been gambling thousands of pounds of her daughter's money, but Dr Kamal told her family she was giving him a final chance to change. "He was gambling and losing and taking it out on her and her son. Khan slapped his petite wife - who weighed just six stone - and then strangled her by putting his arm around her neck and crushing her until she collapsed. He said he had secretly used her bank card to fund his gambling habit... / 8-5-09

Ontario mom 'on roll' in casino leaves infant in car

Canada - A Tilbury woman, who was "on a roll" while gambling, faces charges after a six-month-old infant was found in a vehicle parked in the Caesars Windsor parking garage in the early morning hours of Aug. 6, 2009. / Windsor Star / By Trevor Wilhelm / August 6, 2009

Police partners charge 15 persons in illegal gambling investigation

Canada - Members of the Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau Illegal Gambling Unit in conjunction with the Durham Regional Police, Hamilton Police, Peel Regional Police, York Regional Police and Toronto Police Service have charged 15 persons with gambling related offences following the execution of 29 search warrants at 1 residence, 26 business locations and 2 vehicles... Officers seized $41,221 in Canadian currency and $200,000 in gambling paraphernalia, including 69 video gambling machines and 2 vehicles. / Aug 6, 2009