Seventeen people were indicted Monday for allegedly taking part in illegal sports gambling rings believed to have mafia ties. Combined, the five operations generated $20 million a year, according the Kings County District Attorney’s office, which filed the charges. “Illegal sports gambling is a cash cow for organized crime, and this case shines a bright light on the connection between the two,” said Charles Hynes, the Kings County District Attorney, in a statement.
Those indicted include six alleged members of the Gambino crime family’s “18th Avenue Crew,” a Brooklyn-based group, who are accused of taking bets through Touchdownbets.com, a sports gambling website. They are charged with promoting gambling, criminal usury and extortion, among other things. If convicted, some could spend the rest of their lives in prison.
A former executive at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Kansas City, Kan., has been sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison for taking pay during time he did not work. In March, a jury found Herman S. Ransom, 53, of Olathe, Kan., guilty on 10 counts of wire fraud and 10 counts of theft of public funds. Prosecutors presented evidence that federal investigators kept Ransom under surveillance while he went to casinos and/or played tennis during hours when he was paid to work. Ransom collected $46,925 for hours he did not work, prosecutors said. Ransom was ordered to pay HUD $46,925 in restitution and a $2,000 special assessment fee.
Police arrested 33 hackers who used a “distribution of denial of service” program to cheat online poker players out of 55 million won ($45,265) from last November through May. The hackers, led by 30-year-old Yu and 29-year-old Kim, were booked without detention on charges of gaining illegal profits. The Cyber Terror Response Center in Gyeonggi said the gang used a DDOS attack to infect 11,000 computers at 700 PC rooms across the country. Police said Yu bought the “Netbot Attacker” program from a Chinese hacker last November, then sold copies online to Kim and others. The gang broke into the administrative systems of the PC rooms and installed the virus in their computers to allow them to see the hands of poker opponents.
Former Willits Food Bank Director Susan Lea Gravier, 54, of Willits, was sentenced Wednesday to spend five years formal probation with a two year suspended prison sentence, 360 days in jail and be required to provide full restitution for embezzling $23,000 from the food bank. Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Cindee Mayfield handed down the sentence, following the probation department’s pre-sentencing recommendation. Gravier could have received three years in prison. “As director of the Willits Food Bank, Gravier had access to credit and debit cards issued to the organization and would routinely gamble with the Food Bank’s money at local casinos,” says Hubley.
Gunmen shot and killed a Swedish professional footballer and another man early yesterday in southern Sweden, according to the player’s club Assyriska. The player was identified as Eddie Moussa, a 26-year-old striker for the second-tier club. The second man has not yet been named. Police said the men were shot at a venue used for card games in the Ronna area of Sodertalje, about 18 miles south of Stockholm. Police are searching for two or three gunmen who escaped from the scene on a scooter, which was later found burning nearby. No suspects have been identified, police said.
FOX 2 News has begun to unravel the untold story of a case of alleged animal cruelty in St. Charles. The story begins in South St. Louis. Lori Pellin, 39, accused of two counts of misdemeanor animal abuse, was still in the St. Charles County Jail Tuesday night. She allegedly left 27 cats and dogs locked inside her hot car in the Ameristar Casino parking garage in St. Charles, Monday.
A gambler used his mother’s credit card to get on Internet gambling sites and lost $10,000. Unable to see any way out of his predicament, he tried to commit suicide. He was 9. “Practically anyone of any age can get on the Internet and gamble,” said Carl E. Robertson, who shared the cautionary tale Thursday at a problem gambling forum hosted by the Berks County Council on Chemical Abuse. Robertson is a training specialist with the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania.