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Topic: Scandals--Frauds--Criminals--Gangsters  (Read 2123 times)

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Offline alrelax

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« on: December 14, 2016, 05:52:30 PM »
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  • Here it is, a new addition to my Blog.  Here is the reason why:

    Gamblers and scandals go together like bacon and eggs, toast and jelly or a doughnut with a coffee. It’s like a marriage made in Heaven. Whether it’s embezzlement, prostitution, cheating or even drugs, there is likely to be a gambler caught up in it somewhere.

    I will try to bring you the scandalous lowdown on what’s going on around the world so you can stand back in shocked horror, and then read on to find out more.

    Laugh and say WTF?  OMG?  Or, "I'm glad I didn't get caught up in that mess"!!!


    Offline alrelax

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    Re: Scandals--Frauds--Criminals--Gangsters
    « Reply #1 on: December 14, 2016, 05:53:28 PM »
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  • Post #1:

    Fraudster Blows $1 Million on Game of War: Fire Age

    First Published On:  December 13, 2016

    Man Blows a Million on Game of War
    Game of War: Fire Age is what the industry would call “well-monetized” after it was revealed that a fraudster spent $1 million playing the game. But such cases will surely boost calls for tighter regulations on freemium cellphone games. (Image: Machine Zone)

    A California man this week admitted to stealing $4.8 million from his employer and spending $1 million of the embezzled loot on in-app purchases in Game of War: Fire Age (GoW).

    Kevin Lee Co told a Sacramento federal court that other expenditures included “plastic surgery enhancements” and membership to an exclusive golf club. The rest, as the old joke goes, he squandered.

    Co pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one of money laundering. The court heard he embezzled the funds between 2008 and 2015 from the Caterpillar heavy machinery dealership.

    While Co, at 45, is way too old to have even heard of GoW, let alone spend a million bucks on it, the rest of you over-twenties might need bringing up to speed, so here goes.

    What the Hell is Game of War: Fire Age?

    GoW is a massive multi-player online game (MMO), in which players build armies and form alliances as they strive to prosper in an imaginary geopolitical landscape.

    It’s supposedly a free-to-play cellphone app, but users are able to purchase “virtual gold” in order to aid their advancement in the game. For example, $4.99 will buy you 1,200 pieces of the worthless digital currency, while $99.99 will get you a “cool” 20,000 pieces.

    There’s also a virtual casino, where players can bet virtual currency, hoping to win “useful” minerals to aid their quest, such as wood, stone and more worthless gold.

    A recent Cracked article referred to GoW as “like gambling, but with no possibility of winning,” which inadvertently raises a very significant point about gambling with virtual currencies.

    The skins gambling industry that sprang up around the video game Counter Strike: Global Offensive landed the game’s makers in hot water recently, but skins, the designer weapons traded on the Steam platform, had real world value.

    Therefore, although it’s legally gray area, the third party sites that offered games of chance using skins as virtual chips, were bona fide gambling sites in the real sense of the word.

    “No Real-world Losses”

    GoW has faced similar accusations, but since all transactions exist within the game world, they hold less water. A recent civil lawsuit brought against developers Machine Zone, of Palo Alto, California, by one Mia Mason of Maryland, accused the game of being an illegal “slot machine or device.”

    Mason had spent over a $100 on the game and claimed she had been the “victim” of illegal gambling. But in the absence of any stake, in the traditional sense, or a tangible financial prize, she hadn’t a leg to stand on, said the judge.

    “A careful probe beneath the surface reveals a hodgepodge of hollow claims lacking allegations of real-world harms or injuries,” he wrote. “Perceived unfairness in the operation and outcome of a game, where there are no real-world losses, harms, or injuries, does not and cannot give rise to the award of a private monetary remedy by a real-world court.”

    Well said that judge, but the case of Kevin Lee Co, who was permitted to squander $1 million on minerals, and not even real minerals, without the operator stepping into ask what the hell was going on, will surely bolster arguments for tighter regulations of freemium cellphone games. After all, these are the kind of sensible regulations the gambling industry deals with every day.

    Offline alrelax

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    Re: Scandals--Frauds--Criminals--Gangsters
    « Reply #2 on: December 14, 2016, 05:58:11 PM »
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  • Post #2:

    Nevada Blacklist Growing as Gaming Regulators Curb Crime

    First Published On: December 10, 2016

    Nevada blacklist black book.

    While a physical black book no longer keeps tabs on those banned, the Nevada blacklist is growing as casinos take additional steps to thwart crime. (Image: The Mob Museum)

    The Nevada blacklist, formally known as the Excluded Persons List, is growing in the Silver State as gaming regulators look to keep crooks off the casino floors. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nevada casinos are showing more people the door than ever before.

    It’s all part of a concerted effort among the industry to remove suspected criminals from using casinos to move money and restrict rogue actors from cheating table games.

    The Nevada Gaming Commission’s Excluded Person List totaled 32 members at the end of February. But when it is next updated, it will include new associates who have been handed a lifetime ban from gambling in Nevada.

    “In the last four years we’ve seen what I would consider a bit of an uptick in individuals that we put on the Excluded Persons List,” Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman AG Burnett told the Review-Journal. “We’ve probably included 25 percent more individuals . . . in the last four years than in the last 12.”

    Burnett said Nevada isn’t alone in becoming more proactive when it comes to keeping alleged cheats on the streets, and that nearly every licensed gaming operator has upgraded its surveillance and financial protocols in recent years.

    Making the Banned

    The fact that the Nevada blacklist only has 32 present members is quite remarkable. It also shows just how difficult it is to join the notorious club.

    Felony arrests happen on an almost daily occurrence in Las Vegas. Instead, gaming officials look for patterns of malicious activity being committed by repeat offenders.

    “You have to work at it pretty hard,” Karl Bennison, the chief of the Nevada Gaming Enforcement Division said in 2014. “It’s based mostly on a pattern of bad activity, from cheating to manufacturing cheating devices to ties to organized crime. Sometimes all three.”

    The Gaming Commissions says anyone can be placed on the list regardless of whether they’ve been convicted of a crime. A “notorious or unsavory” reputation is reason enough to be inducted into the book of shame.

    Enforcement Working

    Ten years ago, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released a glaring report accusing casinos of failing to do enough to inhibit money laundering. Then-FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery accused gaming companies of looking the other way when it came to filing Currency Transaction Reports (CTR) for customers transacting at least $10,000 in a given day.

    The Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section (AFMLS) warned casinos this fall that failure to comply with the DOJ and FinCEN would result in substantial punishments.

    “Make no mistake, DOJ will pursue criminal charges and penalties against any financial institution, including casinos and card clubs, that willfully violate the Bank Secrecy Act,” AFMLS Principal Deputy Chief Deborah Conner said in September.

    The Bank Secrecy Act is the federal statute that mandates companies dealing with large sums of cash file CTRs and Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR).

    The threatening language and action from the DOJ has led to casinos embracing more rigorous anti-money laundering measures. The Financial Action Task Force reported this week that the gaming industry has taken significant steps to curb money laundering and financial crimes

    Offline alrelax

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    Re: Scandals--Frauds--Criminals--Gangsters
    « Reply #3 on: December 14, 2016, 06:00:19 PM »
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  • Post #3:

    Casino Anti-Money Laundering Safeguards Receive Praise

    First Published On: December 08, 2016

    Anti-money laundering protocols implemented by casino and gaming companies over the last decade are working, and a new report is giving praise where praise is due.

    The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an independent intergovernmental body that develops and promotes policies to safeguard global financial systems, says in its decennial report that “the gaming industry has taken significant steps” to curb the use of casinos to successfully launder money. FATF says the anti-money laundering safeguards have inhibited terrorist organizations.

    “Casinos have not only increased their compliance spending but have also put in place mitigating measures above the requirements of the BSA (Bank Secrecy Act) based on their risk,” the FATF report states.

    American Gaming Association President Geoff Freeman celebrated the news. “We’re proud of the incredible strides the industry has made not only since FATF’s report of the gaming industry ten years ago, but in the last three years as we’ve built a partnership with the federal government,” Freeman said in a statement.

    No Secrets Wanted

    The Bank Secrecy Act requires financial institutions to keep records of large transactions, typically anything more than $10,000 in a 24-hour period. When the federal law was passed in 1970 it pertained only to strictly financial companies like banks and brokers.

    But with the rise of gambling in the US, and the billions moving through casino cages, came the need for the industry to comply with the BSA. A decade ago, casinos were failing to adequately monitor their cash floors.

    Dating back to 1996, casinos have been required by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to file Currency Transaction Reports for any customer transacting $10,000 or more in a single day. In addition, the casino must file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) when a customer is suspected to be laundering money.

    As banks better tracked known launders, the criminals took to casino cashiers. SAR filings rose nearly 70 percent at casinos between 2013 and 2014 according to FinCEN.

    Betting on Winners

    Former FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery feared casinos would be reluctant to comply with BSA reporting laws due to the possibility of turning away valuable VIP customers. But the FATF findings show casinos are willing to help crackdown on crime and rely on customers playing by the rules for their revenue.

    FATF said the casino representatives and state gaming regulators they met with had a “good understanding of money laundering and terrorist financing risks.” Numerous countries around the world use the FATF report to assess risk in dealing with international financial corporations.

    Casinos often make more bad headlines than good when it comes to money laundering.

    In February, two Philippines casinos were accused of aiding a successful $81 million cyber bank heist. Hackers scheduled nearly $1 billion in withdrawals from the Bangladesh bank account held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. A simple spelling error halted the transfers, but not before $81 million was delivered to the unknown crooks.

    Eastern Hawaii Casino President Kim Wong was later charged for his role in the operation.

    Offline alrelax

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    Re: Scandals--Frauds--Criminals--Gangsters
    « Reply #4 on: December 14, 2016, 06:03:18 PM »
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    Jack Lam Lambasted by President Duterte, Philippines Revokes Casino License

    First Published On:  December 08, 2016

    Jack Lam is a wanted man in the Philippines, and the Southeast Asian island country is trying to entice the Chinese citizen to return by revoking the casino license at his Fontana Hot Spring Leisure Parks resort in Clark.

    Jack Lam Philippines Rodrigo Duterte
    The Fontana Leisure Parks & Casino is closed in Clark after Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte ordered local officials to revoke Jack Lam’s gaming license. (Image:

    Filipino authorities are accusing Lam of operating illegal online gaming websites without the appropriate permits. Lam also allegedly tried to bribe high-up officials at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

    According to reports, Lam offered one percent of his online gaming revenue to PAGCOR Chairwoman Andrea Domingo in exchange for the agency looking the other way while his iGaming application was reviewed. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte issued a warrant for Lam’s arrest last weekend.

    Despite rumors of his sighting in the Philippines, Lam is nowhere to be found. In what’s likely an attempt to entice Lam back to his Fontana property, the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) revoked the casino’s license and ordered the “closure and cessation of operations.”

    The order puts some 500 people out of work just days before Christmas. The Philippines is the third-largest Roman Catholic country in the world.

    Must Pass Rodrigo

    Lam is understandably absent from the Philippines. Since Duterte has taken office, his presidential reign has been doused in controversy.

    He’s instructed law enforcement agencies, or hit squads depending on the observer, to disrupt illegal drug and gambling organizations. Duterte’s “shoot first, ask questions later” approach has led to the deaths of roughly 6,000.

    But with Lam, Duterte is trying to give an appearance of diplomacy and reasoning. Duterte told reporters this week that Lam has made contact and is willing to negotiate in order to evade criminal charges.

    “He only pays one percent, but the rest of the guys there are paying 10 percent,” Rodrigo said, as reported by The Philippines Star. “Because he has offered to come back, pay his tax bill, liabilities, whatever . . . I said, just pay taxes, don’t bribe anybody.”

    Duterte said he would allow Lam to renew his casino operations once Lam pays up on his alleged bill. Lam has issued no statement on the proceedings.

    Will Trump Play

    Duterte became the president of the Philippines in June, and over the past six months, world leaders have struggled with how to handle the ruthless leader. In October, President Obama cancelled a scheduled meeting with the Filipino president after Duterte said Obama can “go to hell.”

    But Duterte has spoken favorably of President-elect Donald Trump, likely due to the future 45th president’s willingness to work with Vladimir Putin. Duterte favors relations with China and Russia over the United States.

    Duterte claims he recently spoke to Trump on the telephone, and that the incoming president is supportive of his violent regime.

    Offline alrelax

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    Re: Scandals--Frauds--Criminals--Gangsters
    « Reply #5 on: December 14, 2016, 06:06:23 PM »
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  • Post #5:

    Bellagio Dealer Imprisoned Over $1 Million Craps Scam

    First Published On: November 04, 2016

    Bellagio craps dealer sentenced.
    Former Bellagio craps dealer James Cooper was an inside man in a scheme that defrauded the Bellagio out of over a million dollars. He said he got “caught up in the greed.” (Image: Michael Quine/LVRJ)

    A former Bellagio craps dealer in Las Vegas, who helped con his ex-employer out of over $1 million was sentenced this week to between three and five years in prison.

    James Cooper Jr., 44, pleaded guilty to one count of theft for his participation in a long-running scam at the dice table.

    Cooper, along with his fellow croupier Mark Branco, allowed two accomplices, Jeffrey Martin and Anthony Granito, to place phony bets at their craps tables.

    This would take place at times when there were few gamblers around and so the games were subject to lower levels of scrutiny.

    The three other men have already been sentenced. Branco, the ringleader of the scam, was handed ten years, while his two accomplices both received 8.3 years.

    Cooper received a lighter sentence because he cooperated with authorities.

    Analyzing Surveillance Tapes

    During the trial, the court heard that Branco and Cooper would accept late or unclear bets when colleagues’ backs were turned. Typically, Martin and Granito would place a few genuine bets and occasionally mutter something that sounded like a hop bet (a high-risk vocalized bet) as the dice were thrown, and were then paid as if they had bet correctly on the outcome.

    The scheme wasn’t particularly sophisticated but, remarkably, the cheaters got away with it for around two years, until the summer of 2014, when another croupier became suspicious and reported his colleagues to the Bellagio management.

    In April, Bellagio fraud-control executive Sharon Tibbits told the courts that investigators had spent thousands of hours painstakingly trying to piece together the defendants’ losses and wins, as well as which bets were legitimate and which weren’t.

    She said that one series of winning bets defied odds of 452-billion to 1.

    Disputed Amount

    “It seems to me that when these offenders concocted this scheme and executed it time and time again, they had to realize that, if apprehended, the likely outcome was prison,” said the judge, on handing down the three lengthy sentences. “I’m not aware of any other offenders receiving probation for like amounts.”

    But lawyers for the four men disputed the amount prosecutors said had been stolen by the illegal gambling scheme from the Bellagio, some $1,086,400, because the men also won and lost money on genuine bets.

    Granito suffered a heart attack when he heard about the initial 60-count indictment against him.   

    Cooper said he was sorry for his actions and that he “got caught up in greed.”

    “I am actually a good citizen,” he told the judge.

    Offline alrelax

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    Re: Scandals--Frauds--Criminals--Gangsters
    « Reply #6 on: December 14, 2016, 06:11:37 PM »
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  • Post #6:

    Calabrian Mafia Point Man Turned Informer in Malta Now Granted Gaming License in Italy

    First Published On:  October 25, 2016 By David Sheldon

    Mario Gennaro Resurrects Betuniq

    Mario Gennaro, an avid poker player, was the mastermind behind the ’Ndrangheta infiltration of the regulated online gambling industry.

    Mario Gennaro, the former point man for ’Ndrangheta crime syndicate’s gambling operations in Malta, has received a gaming license from the Italian regulatory authority, according to Malta Today.

    Gennaro has been permitted to resurrect Betuniq in Italy, the company he ran in Malta on behalf of the ’Ndrangheta, the Calabrian Mafia.

    The decision, which has baffled the Malta Gaming Authority, appears to have been taken as a means to reward Gennaro for turning snitch on his former employers.

    In July 2015, Italian police raided over a thousand establishments across Italy and abroad, seizing assets worth €2 billion ($2.2 billion), as they smashed a vast gambling empire run by the notorious crime syndicate.

    Police hit 1,500 betting shops, 45 Italian companies and 11 foreign firms in the raids, as well as 82 online gambling sites. Six of the companies targeted were based in Malta and all were accused of laundering large sums money for the ’Ndrangheta.

    Embarrassment for Malta

    Malta, which licenses hundreds of online gaming brands, was forced to suspend nine licensees as a result of the operation. Two licensees, Gennaro and Fenplay Ltd director Vincenzo Giuliano, were arrested in the raids.

    The scandal severely embarrassed Malta, raising questions about its licensing processes and shaking its status as a respected regulatory hub. Malta is economically dependent upon its status as a trusted gambling jurisdiction and the domestic press railed against the apparent failure of due diligence.

    But now the press is demanding to know why a proven money-launderer for the Mob has been permitted to resurrect his business. Gennaro was described by an Italian judge as the ’Ndrangheta’s “new man,” who was the syndicate’s “instrument and guarantor” in its attempt to infiltrate the betting industry.

    Back Online

    This week the Betuniq website was back online, after a judge recommended Gennaro for licensing, praising his “decisive contribution” to the ’Ndrangheta investigation.

    The Italian media say that Gennaro’s role will be confined to marketing, promotions and strategic planning in the resurrected company.  Betuniq’s new director, Vincent Saviano, said the company hopes to reopen within 15 days and will offer an array of online poker and live dealer casino games as well as sports betting.

    “With the beginning of a new era, and with humility, we are once again at your service,” the company’s webpage announces

    Offline alrelax

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    Re: Scandals--Frauds--Criminals--Gangsters
    « Reply #7 on: December 14, 2016, 09:22:47 PM »
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  • Post #7:

    Alleged Mob Kingpin Joey Merlino Banned from All Pennsylvania Casinos

    First Published: September 09, 2016

    Joseph Merlino banned from Pennsylvania casinos
    Ba-da-bing! Joey “Skinny Joey” Merlino banned from Pennsylvania’s 12 casino hotspots.

    Joey Merlino, the man who the FBI believes to be the head of the Philadelphia Mob, has been banned from entering the state’s 12 casinos.  The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) voted unanimously this week to designate “Skinny Joey” persona non grata, after an altercation at the Sugarhouse Casino in March.

    That, and the fact that he was arrested in early August along with 46 alleged mob associates, soldiers and capos, and accused of being one of the ringleaders of a criminal empire known as the East Coast La Cosa Nostra Enterprise.

    Skinny Joey and his associates have been charged, variously, with illegal gambling, extortion, gun-running, fraud, good old-fashioned racketeering, and other crimes. He is currently out on $5 million bail as he awaits trial.

    Blackjack Fracas

    The PGCB said that it began its investigation following an incident at the Sugarhouse blackjack tables when Merlino and his entourage fell into a disagreement with several other players.

    According to documents seen by Fox News, things got heated and several punches were thrown before security broke up the fight. Merlino reportedly then shook hands with one of the opposing group and left.

    When he returned to the same casino the following month, he was met by PGCB agents who attempted to serve him with an exclusion order, but he brushed them off and walked out.

    Agents again attempted to serve him the order when he appeared at Harrahs Casino in Chester, and were again waved away by the reputed gangster.

    “We tried to serve him at his restaurant, his home, at Harrah’s, at SugarHouse,” said board spokesman Doug Harbach. “It’s a permanent ban unless he petitions the board to be removed and provides the board with ample reason why he should be removed from the list.”

    Wiseguy Sting

    The arrests last month came as the result of a joint investigation between the FBI and New York’s organized crime task force and is believed to have spanned several years and involved infiltration by an undercover FBI agent into the ranks of the organization.

    Investigators say they have collected thousands of hours of testimonies gathered through wiretaps and the cooperation of a witness. The 32-page indictment unsealed last month details incidents of assaults, threats and arson.

    Merlino has beaten murder charges in the past, but has served prison time for racketeering. He has already been barred from all Atlantic City casinos.

    Offline alrelax

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    Re: Scandals--Frauds--Criminals--Gangsters
    « Reply #8 on: December 14, 2016, 09:28:56 PM »
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  • Post #8:

    Ted Forrest Wanted by Authorities Over Alleged Bad Checks at Wynn Las Vegas

    First Published: September 05, 2016

    Ted Forrest is a wanted man in Las Vegas.

    The six-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner has been accused of writing bad checks at Wynn Las Vegas in 2012 and 2013.
    Ted Forrest arrest warrant bad checks at Wynn
    Wynn Las Vegas says poker pro Ted Forrest owes the casino hundreds of thousands of dollars, and local authorities have a warrant out for the arrest of the six-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner.

    According to authorities, Forrest cashed two checks totaling $215,000. Wynn says the checks bounced due to insufficient funds to cover the transactions.

    Clark County has now issued an arrest warrant for Forrest.

    Three years ago, Forrest admitted to owing Wynn over a quarter of a million dollars and agreed to pay back the money in 10 monthly payments. But Las Vegas Review Journal’s (LVRJ) David Ferrara reports Forrest failed to make good on the settlement.

    Wynn wants its money, and it’s turning to legal recourse. “We believe this is a long-standing civil dispute,” Forrest’s attorney Chris Rasmussen told the LVRJ. “Now . . . they’ve moved to prosecute.”

    Clark County is charging Forrest with theft and writing bad checks. Those accusations could lead to prison time should Forrest be found guilty. Rasmussen plans to ask a Clark County judge to revoke the warrant.

    High Stakes Drama

    Forrest is notorious on the poker circuit for always being ready for a big wager. He’s won over $6.3 million in live earnings during his 25 years playing poker, but his notoriety largely stems from his actions in non-sanctioned showdowns, also known as prop bets.

    His most notable face-off came against Texas billionaire Andy Beal. Forrest and other poker pros pooled their money together to take on Beal in what were perhaps the richest poker games in history.

    Dating back to 2001, Forrest and Beal have gone against each other several times with millions of dollars in the pot. Held at both the Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas, Beal supposedly once won an $11.7 million hand.

    Forrest’s best live recorded victory came in 2007 when he won the $10,000 World Poker Tour no limit hold’em event for a $1.1 million win, but he’s certainly won more during his non-tournament high-stakes affairs.

    Weighty Matter

    Forrest’s situation with Wynn is a bit ironic, considering he’s been a vocal critic of Mike Matusow on a 2010 prop bet. Six years ago, Forrest bet Matusow he could drop his weight from 188 to under 140 pounds in just a matter of months.

    The bet was for $2 million.

    Forrest followed through, but claims Matusow has only paid him $70,500 to date.

    “I didn’t eat for 10 days,” Forrest said in 2010. “I ate a kiwi, a tomato, and five or six raspberries, which gave me the energy to make the final push and lose the weight.”

    Matusow blamed alcohol for the bet, and claimed that he wasn’t in a sound mental state to make such outlandish terms.

    “Four years ago me and Ted made a bet and were very drunk when we made it,” Matusow tweeted in 2014. “I then told him I don’t want the bet cause I can’t afford to lose.”

    Offline alrelax

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    Re: Scandals--Frauds--Criminals--Gangsters
    « Reply #9 on: December 15, 2016, 12:06:33 PM »
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  • Post #9:

    Lucchese Crime Family Boss Gets Three Years in New Jersey State Prison for Operating $2 Billion Gambling Ring

    First Published: April 22, 2016

    Lucchese crime family gambling ring Joseph DiNapoli, with other Lucchese crime family members, is going to prison for three years after pleading guilty to running a multibillion-dollar sports gambling ring.

    The Lucchese crime family is a boss short this week after New Jersey Acting Attorney General Robert Lougy announced that Joseph DiNapoli would spend the next three years in state prison for operating an illegal multibillion-dollar gambling ring that was uncovered by investigators in 2007.

    Led by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, DiNapoli pled guilty in February to racketeering charges stemming from the gambling operation that reportedly grossed $2.2 billion during a 15-month period in the mid-2000s. The vast majority of the revenue evidently stemmed from sports betting.

    New Jersey State Superior Court Judge Salem Vincent Ahto sentenced the notorious crime boss in Morris County on Wednesday. At 80-years-old, DiNapoli will be 83 when he’s scheduled to once again become a free man.

    Cosa Nostra Goes Costa Rica

    DiNapoli is rumored to be a captain of the family and controlled its day-to-day operations from 2003 to 2011 as part of the Lucchese’s three-member ruling panel.

    According to prosecutors, DiNapoli’s gambling ring accepted bets through password-protected websites. A wire room based in Costa Rica recorded the wagers and then tallied the winnings and payouts.

    Mob agents were responsible for bringing in gamblers to the ring and pressuring them to pay up when they lost. Thousands of US citizens placed money on sporting events through the enterprise according to the official New Jersey press release.

    In addition to overseeing the sports betting gambling ring, investigators say DiNapoli orchestrated a scheme that brought together a corrections officer and high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang. Together, the conspiracy smuggled drugs and prepaid cell phones into the East Jersey State Prison.

    Not So Good Fellas

    The Lucchese crime family is one of the “Five Families” in the New York City metro area along with the Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, and Genovese organized mobs.

    Aside from its criminal activities that includes contract killing, aircraft hijacking, prostitution, drug trafficking and a host of other felonious undertakings, the Lucchese mob is famous for Henry Hill, one of its mobsters who turned into an FBI informant. Hill’s life was the subject of Martin Scorsese’s 1990 film “Goodfellas.”

    The mob and gambling have gone hand-in-hand for decades.

    Las Vegas likely wouldn’t be the same Las Vegas it is today without the mob, as mobsters like Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky bankrolled several of Sin City’s earliest casinos.

    Earlier this month, Italian police uncovered an apparent Mafia-linked online gambling operation in Salerno, Italy. According to authorities, the Jamm Jamm disco bar rigged gambling games to make it “impossible for players to make significant winnings.”

    Back in the United States, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian (R) is warning residents in the Garden State that expanding casinos throughout New Jersey also expands criminal activities including prostitution. Engaged in a bitter battle with the state government and Governor Chris Christie (R), Guardian is urging voters to vote against a referendum this November that would end Atlantic City’s gambling monopoly in the state.

    Offline alrelax

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    Re: Scandals--Frauds--Criminals--Gangsters
    « Reply #10 on: December 15, 2016, 12:10:55 PM »
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  • Post #10:

    Italian Anti-Mafia Police Bust “Rigged” Online Gambling Network

    First Published: April 03, 2016

    Mafia Online Gambling Ring Busted, The Jamm Jamm disco, which has been seized by authorities who claim it was established with the proceeds of an illegal gambling ring that “rigged” the games. Maybe they just don’t understand variance… (Image:

    Italian police have broken up a vast Mafia-linked online gambling operation, based in Salerno, which prosecutors say was rigging games to make it “impossible for players to make significant winnings.”

    In all, eighteen people have been arrested, with 64 in total still under criminal investigation, police said.

    The alleged ringleader of a group described by authorities as a “complex and structured criminal organization,” is Antonio Contaldo, 50. Along with his close family members, including his brothers and sons, Contaldo is accused of having links to the Camorra organized crime syndicate and as well as the Calabria-based ‘Ndrangheta.

    Pulling Teeth

    The swoop by police this week was the climax of an investigation dubbed “Operation Jamm Jamm,” after the Jamm Jamm discotheque in the town of San Valentino Torio, which police said was established with the proceeds of the illegal gambling operation. The property has now been seized, along with 20 other business, including an “illegal dentist’s office.”

    Suspects are charged with, variously, membership of a criminal organization, offering illegal online gambling, extortion, money laundering, fraudulent transfer of assets, computer fraud, unauthorized access to computer systems, falsehoods, domestic violence, unlawful practice of a health profession (must be the dentist), and disclosure of official secrets (no idea).

    Unjust Targets?

    The list of sites, which investigators have said were based on servers outside Italy and have been impounded, are as follows:;;;;;;;;;; and

    But according to, two of those sites may have been targeted in error. Austria’s SKS365 Group, which operates Planet365, has categorically distanced itself from any involvement, stating that the criminal group had exploited Planet365’s brand reputation to lure bettors to copycat sites.

    OIA Services Ltd, meanwhile, which owns Betaland, says that has been closed to Italian players for over a year, and the sites associated with the gambling ring that used the Betaland extension did so without permission and were “rightly already darkened to access, as unlicensed.”

    Tancredi Links

    Italian authorities said that the ring also had links to Luigi Tancredi, a man known in Italy as “the King of Slots” for his operations in the legal land-based gambling world.

    Tancredi is believed to be the owner of DollaroPoker, and was arrested in January and accused of being the mastermind of a gambling ring that operated 12,000 online gaming and lottery video terminals in bars, cafes and gaming halls throughout Italy.

    Tancredi is also accused of having links to the Camorra and ‘Ndrangheta clans and has been described by prosecutors of being the “indispensable link between organized crime and the world of information technology”

    Offline alrelax

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    Re: Scandals--Frauds--Criminals--Gangsters
    « Reply #11 on: December 15, 2016, 12:20:38 PM »
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  • Post #11:

    [This is pretty darn low of the person lots of us trust at the church]!!!!!  

    Canadian Priest Gambles Away $386,000 in Donations Earmarked for Iraqi Refugees

    First Published: March 30, 2016

    A Canadian priest in Ontario has admitted to losing more than CDN$500,000 (US$386,000) in charitable funds that were supposed to be used to assist Iraqi refugees seeking asylum in the eastern Canadian province.

    Canadian priest gambles away refugee money
    Canadian priest Amer Saka gambled away more than $380,000 in funds raised that were supposed to be used to aid Iraq refugees. No charges have been filed against the Ontario man of the cloth. (Image:

    Father Amer Saka of the St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church told Bishop Emanuel Shaleta in February that he had gambled away all the money, which had been collected through parishioner donations. The Chaldean Church is headquartered in Baghdad, Iraq, and dates back to the 1st century, though Saka’s parish in London, Ontario was founded less than five years ago with Pope Benedict XVI’s blessing.

    “We believe Father Saka has a serious gambling problem and that these funds may have been used for that purpose,” Shaleta told the Toronto Star. “He called me . . . and said he lost all the money.”

    Unholy Happenings

    The roughly $386,000 was deposited into an account entrusted to Saka by families belonging to St. Joseph’s. The finances were supposed to be safeguarded by the church and used to assist incoming refugees from Iraq.

    The Chaldean refugee sponsorship program requires donors to support migrants for a minimum of one year after they arrive in Canada.

    “They did not give this money as a donation for their church,” Shaleta said. “They trusted him, this money was not for him. It was to be given back to the refugees [once they arrived here].”

    It’s unclear what Saka’s game of choice was in the casino, or which venue or venues he frequented.

    Regardless, it’s yet another black eye on the Catholic Church, as the religion is still dealing with persistent claims of sexual abuse within its organization. Just this month, a state grand jury in Pennsylvania found that more than 50 priests and religious leaders in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona sexually abused and raped children over a 40-year period.

    No formal charges have been levied on Saka, but an investigation by the London Police Service is ongoing. Saka has since checked into the Southdown Institute, an Ontario addiction and mental health rehabilitation center for clergy members.

    Are Church Donations Safe?

    While Saka attempts to overcome his gambling addiction, parishes across the country might want to take a closer look at their bank accounts, as the St. Joseph incident could be miniscule should additional priests try their hand at the casino with money that isn’t theirs.

    In February, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCBC) announced a joint campaign with the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, Aid to the Church in Need Canada, and the Catholic Near East Welfare Association Canada, in which it had raised over $3.5 million.

    The CCBC charity funds will reportedly be distributed to Syrian refugees seeking safety in the Middle East and parts of Europe. What kind of safeguards have been put in place, if any, to protect the donations and make sure they reach refugees is unclear.

    For the sake of the donors and refugees, we can only pray that the $3.5 million is being better secured than the contributions collected by St. Joseph’s.

    It should go without saying that priests aren’t permitted to participate in gambling activities, particularly with parishioner monies, but to reinforce that notion, Shaleta explained that “it’s against the rules” of the Catholic priesthood.

    Offline alrelax

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    Re: Scandals--Frauds--Criminals--Gangsters
    « Reply #12 on: December 15, 2016, 12:33:27 PM »
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  • Post #12:

    THIS ONE HITS HOME.  Bob was my old casino host from Mohegan Sun in Connecticut before he went upstate to Turning Stone and then to the Poconos back with Mohegan Sun.  Good ole Bob, he was a great host at Mohegan in Connecticut.  

    Former Mohegan Sun Pocono Executive Charged in Slots Cheating Scam

    First Published: January 21, 2016

    Mohegan Sun Exec Charged in Cheating Scam, Robert Pellegrini, the ex-VP of player development for the Mohegan Sun Pocono, who is charged with defrauding his former employer. (Image:

    A former Mohegan Sun executive appeared in court this week charged with conspiracy to defraud his former employer out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Robert Pellegrini, 50, who was the VP of player development for the Mohegan Sun Pocono casino in Pennsylvania at the time of the alleged fraud, is accused of conspiring with a cocktail waitress, Rochelle Poszeluznyj, 37, and a regular customer, Mark Joseph Heltzel, 51, to scam slot machines out of cash by using bogus loyalty rewards.

    The court heard that between May 2, 2014, and April 4, 2015, the trio allegedly used $478,100 in free slot play to generate $418,793 in illicit cash winnings.

    According to prosecutors, Poszeluznyj would note down player’s loyalty cards and PIN numbers as she served them drinks, before passing them on to Pellegrini, who would create duplicate cards charged with free slot money.

    Heltzel would then use the cards to play slots, with the winnings split among the group, the prosecution alleges.

    Jealous Lover

    Spreading the free play over numerous loyalty cards helped to conceal the fraud, which went unnoticed until a dealer at the casino, and a rival with Heltzel for Poszeluznyj’s affections, apparently spilled the beans in a fit of jealousy.

    Croupier Matthew Crane told police of the scheme in April 2015, which, he said, predated Poszeluznyj’s involvement, and was referred to as “a handshake” by the two men.

    Police said Crane’s story was corroborated by casino surveillance video, which showed Heltzel using five different players cards to win $1,880. Reward scheme records, meanwhile, revealed that between three and six players cards were frequently being issued at once, and then used immediately, often at the same slot machine.

    “This was a very elaborate scheme on the part of these three individuals to defraud the casino of a significant amount of money,” said Assistant District Attorney Tom Marsilio for the prosecution.

    Heltzel’s Previous Problems

    This is the not the first time that Heltzel has been accused of defrauding the Mohegan Sun Pocono. In 2011, he was charged with putting late bets on the blackjack table.

    He was never barred from Mohegan Sun as a result of that incident, because, according to his lawyer, “[he] was [held] in high regard with the casino.”

    This no longer appears to be the case. Heltzel is now facing 175 mostly felony counts of theft, identity theft, criminal conspiracy, and winning by fraud. His bail has been set at $500,000.

    Pellegrini, meanwhile, has 177 counts to answer for, including theft, identity theft, criminal conspiracy, winning by fraud, computer trespassing, and misapplying trusted property.

    Each offense carries maximum penalties ranging from five to 10 years in prison.

    Offline alrelax

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    Re: Scandals--Frauds--Criminals--Gangsters
    « Reply #13 on: December 15, 2016, 12:45:49 PM »
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  • Post #13:

    Pretty much going on last year and this year, but here is a re-cap for you.  Wonder what all the USA money from Steve Wynn, Sheldon Adelson and others will ever realize from their billions and billions of dollars they are on the hook for over there???

    The Fall of Macau: What Happened to the Gambling Fireball in 2015?

    First Published: December 29, 2015

    The fortunes of Macau were already tumbling as 2015 began. The downturn actually started back in June 2014, when the gambling hub recorded the first-ever monthly dip in revenues since Stanley Ho’s casino monopoly ended in 2012, a move that had effectively opened the Asian gambling region up to foreign investment.

    However, no one could quite have expected numbers to fall so dramatically, and consecutively, month-on-month, for the rest of the year and throughout 2015.

    Xi Jinping China Macau economic turndown 2015
    Macau’s casinos were affected by the anti-corruption drive of  China’s president Xi Jinping (center) in 2015, which largely impacted the Asian gambling mecca’s junket industry this year. (Image: Adrian Bradshaw/EPA)

    What happened?

    Just two months before the initial downturn, Macau had reported a record-breaking Q1 for 2014, with $12.6 billion in revenues. That was up 19.8 percent from the first quarter of 2013. And 2014 was on course to beat the year prior, itself a watershed year, and Forbes was calling Macau “one of the world’s fastest growing economies.” The enclave was taking in in just two months what Las Vegas scored in a year.

    Macau had benefitted greatly from the explosion in Chinese tourism in the preceding years. A greater freedom of movement and a burgeoning new Chinese middle class had certainly contributed to the gambling boom, and, as the Chinese economy began slow, so did the flow of gamblers from the mainland.

    VIP Junkets Hit the Skids

    But Macau’s bread and butter had always been Chinese VIP high rollers. With a fondness for high stakes baccarat, these whales’ trips were facilitated by Macau’s multibillion-dollar junket industry. In fact, the junkets accounted for some 60 percent of Macau’s revenues during the boom years.

    Junket operators would act as middlemen, organizing trips and lending their clients large sums of cash in order to curb restrictions on the amount of money that could be brought from the mainland. VIPs would then settle their debts on their return to China.

    Many of these VIPs were, in fact, corrupt Communist Party officials whose fortunes were derived from kickbacks or embezzlement of public money. Corruption had reached epidemic proportions in China, and Beijing had had enough, vowing to track fraudulent officials “to the ends of the earth.”

    Fearing reprisals from Beijing, the VIPs began to steer clear of Macau, heading to Manilla in the Philippines, or to Vietnam’s Ho Tram Strip to get their kicks instead.

    Unprecedented Crackdown

    The anti-corruption drive was squeezing Macau throughout the latter half of 2014. As well as scaring off the high rollers, Beijing had imposed restrictions on the use of UnionPay, China’s only domestic bank card, which further stemmed the flow of middle-class money from the mainland.

    Meanwhile, the introduction of a blanket smoking ban inside casinos failed to improve matters.

    But by early 2015, China had ramped it up a notch, initiating an “unprecedented crackdown” on the junket industry, tightening regulatory controls and demanding more transparency from the junkets about their clients and the criminal history of their employees. By September, the junket industry was “broken,” according to Rob Goldstein, LVS president.

    New casino resorts, conceived during the boom time, still opened their doors this year, such as James Packer’s Studio City Macau, while Steve Wynn’s Wynn Palace Macau due to open in the middle of next.

    Despite the general malaise and stingy table games allocations for new casinos from the Macau regulator which is bowing to pressure from Beijing, Packer said he remained upbeat about the region’s long-term future, while conceding that Macau’s downturn has been “worse than anyone expected.”

    Offline alrelax

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    Re: Scandals--Frauds--Criminals--Gangsters
    « Reply #14 on: December 16, 2016, 01:28:22 PM »
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  • Post #14:

    Once again, a casino employee arrested for promotional giveaway scam at a casino.  God bless the Indians!!!