A Brief Look at Crime 12/27 – 01/02

Murders in Brooklyn and Queens may be linked to gambling den at barbershop

The murders of two men killed in different boroughs may be linked to an underground gambling den run out of a Queens barbershop, cop sources said. Gary Bowlin, a 35-year-old ex-con, was shot execution-style in the bathroom of Rob NG Cutz on 135th St. in South Richmond Hill, Queens, police said. A gunman pumped a single shot into his head shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday. About five hours later, Gregory Jenkins, 29, was found dead on Alabama St. in Brownsville, Brooklyn, police said. Detectives believe the two men may have been killed over money involved in card games run out of the barbershop.

Federal judge freezes bank accounts allegedly linked to illegal gambling (Guam)

A federal judge has frozen numerous band accounts that an Internal Revenue Service investigation has linked to alleged illegal gambling. The investigation, which also included the FBI, included confidential informer and hidden cameras, according to an affidavit filed in the District Court of Guam. The poker games were allegedly advertised through text message, the affidavit states. Buy-in was allegedly about $130 for each game, the affidavit states. The MGA spa and two other business linked to it’s owners — Paradise Bingo and Club Crazy Horse — were raided by the FBI last week.

MONEY LAUNDERING VIA A CHARITY?

Following an ongoing investigation by the FBI and IRS, at least twelve bank accounts have been frozen with alleged illegal gambling links to the nonprofit organisation, the ‘Overseas Chinese Association Center.’ Originally the organisation was granted the right to run legal bingo games in return for the funds raised then going towards charitable causes. However, the practices of the ‘Overseas Chinese Association Center’ are now being investigated with authorities alleging that as well as bingo,  money was raised through illegal gambling which was then used for private gain.

According to court documents, feds could only find $42,000 of the more than $400,000 the organisation claimed was paid to charities over the past two years. Instead, investigators are claiming that companies such as RJT, Inc. and DT&L Investments, Inc were used to launder money and divert funds away from the charity.

Ex-FBI Agent Discusses Volpe’s Mob Ties

A retired FBI agent told Eyewitness News that Anthony “Tony” Volpe’s death marks the end of an era — specifically, one marred with mob ties. According to Don Brutnell, the retired FBI agent who played a role in arresting Volpe, the man was a main figure in central Connecticut’s network of mob enterprises involving sports betting and loan sharking.

Brutnell said that under Volpe, small apartments and certain storefronts hid illegal gambling operations on Franklin Avenue. Now, Brutnell said it’s a different city and a different time. “Tony was involved in illegal gambling, extortion, loan sharking,” Brutnell said.

Men to stand trial on charges they stole from casino

Two Swissvale men accused of stealing more than $400,000 in fraudulent jackpots from the Meadows Racetrack & Casino will stand trial next week, after a third defendant pleaded guilty Wednesday. Andre Michael Nestor, 39, and his roommate Kerry Laverde, 51, are each facing more than 650 felony counts of theft, receiving stolen property, criminal conspiracy, computer trespassing and other charges after they were arrested in October 2009 for exploiting a software glitch in a slot machine to display bogus jackpots.

REPUTED CRIME FAMILY MEMBER, RACKETEERING

A reputed Gambino crime-family associate who headed an elaborate, $20 million stock scheme admitted this morning that he wagered some of his proceeds in illegal gambling operations. Michael Scarpaci, 34, pleaded guilty to racketeering tied to his roles in an Internet sports-betting ring and high-stakes poker games.

During a hearing in Manhattan federal court, the recovering alcoholic and drug addict said he steered fellow bettors to his Web-based, off-shore sports bookie and also recruited players to join him at card games in Manhattan hotels. The gambling charges against Scarpaci — who was briefly released from jail for his daughter’s April baptism — were contained in a sweeping indictment that led to the arrests of 14 mobsters earlier this year.

Over $586 Million Lost by Illegal Gambling Operators

Police reports out of Kuala Lumpur have shown a staggering amount of money being lost by illegal gambling operations throughout the country with sports betting taking the lead as the biggest losers. CID Director Comm. Datuk Seri Bakri Zinin said that in World Cup betting alone over $4,183,000,000 was lost because of the raids by police in over 18,897 illegal activities. Also during those raids, over 16 thousand people were arrested!

Other illegal gambling activities have been targeted by the police including “lotteries, book making, common house gambling and open area gambling”. During the month that the World Cup was being played, over 270 raids were preformed with over 4 billion in monies being received in illegal bets for the sport. Determined to rid their country of crime, illegal gambling, and any other crime that cripples their country has become a main focal point for law enforcement.

With such a big set back during the Fifa World Cup games in South Africa back in June, sports betting and the illegal syndicates that promote them have been hit a major blow and hopefully will deter any illegal gaming operators from setting up shop in their country in the future. Raids will continue and money will be lost by all illegal operators for some time to come.

And for more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

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