A Boca Raton man accused of running a network of businesses built on lies pleaded guilty Friday to a mail fraud charge arising from an undercover FBI operation. Edward Laborio, the founder of Envit Capital Group, admitted to participating in a “pay-to-play scheme” in which he offered illegal kickbacks to someone he believed was the manager of a pension fund, according to court documents. It turned out to be a FBI sting targeting small business owners willing to engage in shady stock trading practices. Laborio’s plea in Miami federal court came as he faces charges in Boston that he defrauded investors of Envit Capital Group and business entities associated with Envit. In addition, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is suing him, accusing him of duping investors into buying more than $5.7 million of stock in his companies. The SEC alleges Laborio, 33, used investors’ funds to cut $340,000 in checks to himself, spend $100,000 at casinos and cover personal expenses such as video store rentals, restaurant meals and pharmacy bills, court records show.
LAS VEGAS – A former Florida high school football coach and teacher was convicted Friday of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a Utah man he knocked down with a single punch after the two men exchanged words in a Las Vegas casino men’s room. Benjamin Gerard Hawkins stood still and stared straight ahead, as his wife and other family members wept as the verdict was read in Clark County District Court. The case stemmed from the July 2011 death of John Massie, 46, of Roy, Utah. Hawkins’ family had hoped for an acquittal after he testified that Massie derided him with racial comments, tapped him three times on the chest and shoulder as they exchanged words in the men’s room, and approached him again after they walked separately to the gaming floor at O’Shea’s Casino.
The treasurer for the municipal employees union, accused of embezzling about $187,000 from union coffers, was arrested by the Miramar Police Department on Monday. Ron Salerno, 43, turned himself in after the police issued an arrest warrant for him last week, said police department spokeswoman Tania Rues. Salerno is charged with grand theft over $100,000 and swindling to obtain property of $50,000 or more. Both charges are first-degree felonies. Bank statements from the General Association of Miramar Employees (GAME) account showed that from June 2010 to June 2012 there had been over 180 ATM transactions totaling approximately $118,781. A certified public accountant reviewed the banks statements and determined the transactions were mostly large cash withdrawals made at various ATMs and casinos using the union ATM card issued to Salerno for union business.
The alleged ring-leader of a group of men accused of gambling on pee-wee football games is behind bars again. According to his bail bondsman, Brandon Bivins was picked up Friday by the US Marshals in Palm Beach County on a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Bivins was found in possession of a .357 Magnum revolver and 26 rounds of ammunition. The gun was found when Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies conducted a search warrant on Oct. 29. BSO turned the gun over to the feds who waited until last week to charge him with the crime. Since he had previously been convicted of a crime, he was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Because of this latest arrest, Bivins missed his scheduled arraignment before a Broward judge Tuesday morning. If convicted on these new charges, he could face a minimum of 15 years in federal prison. Bivins was coach and president of the Fort Lauderdale Hurricanes and was charged in October with bookmaking and keeping a house for gambling.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man accused of gunning down four people outside an overcrowded, unlicensed boarding house in Los Angeles was arrested at a Las Vegas casino-hotel along with three alleged accomplices, police said Tuesday. The four suspects were found at the Silverton Hotel and Casino less than 24 hours after the slayings and were arrested without incident. After a request for assistance from Los Angeles police and the FBI, Las Vegas police learned that the suspects were driving a black Audi with no license plates, located the car at the hotel, and watched the suspects through the night until arrest warrants were issued. Ka Pasasouk, 31, was arrested for investigation of murder, while three others were accused of being accessories to murder, committing robbery, or both, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference.
Tulsa athletic director Ross Parmley was fired Tuesday, a week after he was named in a federal investigation of a man accused of running a gambling operation in Oklahoma City. Tulsa President Steadman Upham released a letter to students and faculty of the private university Tuesday night, saying Parmley “admitted he had not been truthful” about his role in the mess when he told him in October 2011 that he was cooperating in an FBI investigation. Parmley was publicly linked last month with the investigation into Teddy Mitchell. In recently unsealed court documents, Parmley is described as an “admitted gambler with Mitchell.” Mitchell is scheduled for trial in April.
A Saratoga Springs woman who stole $382,974 from a 82-year-old legally blind woman for whom she worked as a home health aide has been sentenced to serve up to nine years in state prison. Michele L. Rose, 50, of Birch Meadow Estates worked for the woman for over five years and had previously taken care of the elderly woman’s husband. Rose was arrested after a family member noticed discrepancies in the elder’s account and contacted police. The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office said that Rose stole the money through phone transfers, personal checks and credit card charges since at least 2006. Rose reportedly used the money to fund her gambling habit. She pleaded guilty to second degree grand larceny and will have to make restitution. The elder is now in a nursing home. The money stolen was her life savings.
State police say a 62-year-old New York City woman was the person struck and killed by a bus at the Mohegan Sun casino in eastern Connecticut. Troopers identified the woman Thursday as Pui Ying Li of the Elmhurst section of Queens. Authorities say she was trying to cross a street in front of the Mohegan Tribal Public Safety Building near a parking garage Wednesday afternoon when she was hit by a commercial bus owned by the Tribal Sun Bus Co. Police say Li suffered traumatic facial and head injuries. She died at Backus Hospital in Norwich. Officials identified the bus driver as 38-year-old Lin Qi Si of Braintree, Mass.
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