Brief Look at Crime 02/23 – 03/01

$5 gambling debt leads to parking-lot stabbing

An old $5 gambling debt led to a parking-lot stabbing Friday night in Fort Lauderdale, authorities say. Anthony Lemar Mells, 51, of Fort Lauderdale, is accused of stabbing a man twice in the stomach and once in the head in the parking lot of Sirods Lounge, 702 NW 27th Ave., around 11:30 p.m., according to a complaint affidavit filed in the case. Mells was arrested Sunday and faces one count of attempted murder. The victim, Leonard Hornsby, 47, of Fort Lauderdale, was taken to Broward Health with multiple stab wounds and underwent several surgeries, the affidavit said. He had a punctured bowel, lacerated liver, punctured lung and a deep cut to his head. Hornsby identified Mells as his attacker in a photo lineup Sunday, the affidavit said. He told authorities the two have known each other for several years and were fighting over an old $5 gambling wager.

Genovese crime family’s sports betting ring takes hit in South Florida

*Pasquale “Patsy” Capolongo is obsessed with gambling. From horses to professional football, basketball, baseball and college sports — he has bet on it all. The grandfather — who is accused of being linked to the*infamous Genovese crime family ran out of luck. After a failed illegal gambling business, he moved from White Plains to West Palm Beach. And now the 66-year-old is behind bars again. Investigators of the multi-state operation took a $4 million bite out of a multimillion-dollar sports betting ring operation — including $1.2 million linked to the venture in South Florida, police said. “Criminal networks like these may not seem dangerous to the public,” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said in a statement. “But it is activity such as this that leads to violence and fuels organized crime throughout the country.” The sports betting ring used off-shore sports betting web sites and hand-to-hand cash transactions in Broward and Palm Beach, Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies said Friday.

Jerry Sandusky’s Ex-Lawyer Charged With Stealing $535,000

An attorney who represented former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky at his sex abuse trial was charged Friday with stealing more than a half-million dollars from clients and spending it on casino gambling and other interests. Cumberland County detectives filed 25 charges of theft and misappropriation of funds against Karl Rominger, PennLive.com reported. The 41-year-old stole $535,000 from three clients — a car accident victim, a spouse in a divorce case and the survivors of a woman whose estate Rominger represented, authorities said. Rominger, who voluntarily surrendered his law license and was disbarred last spring, told PennLive.com that he has not gambled since March.

40 arrested, $100K seized in illegal cockfight raid

Police say 40 people have been arrested in a law enforcement investigation of a large illegal cockfighting operation in East Windsor. State Police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance said they were arrested in a raid Saturday night. He said officers found 54 fighting birds at the scene, including four that were dead. He said more than 100 people were at the site, whose address is that of an auto sales shop. Officers seized more than $100,000 in gambling proceeds, along with a firearm, records and “implements of cockfighting.” Vance said the 40 arrested were charged with animal cruelty and one also was charged with professional gambling. They were released on bond to appear in Enfield Superior Court.

Brooklyn Bingo Hall Running $4M Illegal Gambling Ring

The owner of a longtime bingo hall with a graying customer base has been operating an illegal gambling ring worth millions of dollars and plans to abscond to Costa Rica in the near future, Brooklyn prosecutors say. Adam Sandler, the owner of Nostrand Bingo Hall in Midwood, his 26-year-old daughter and 13 associates are the subject of a criminal investigation by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office into an illegal gambling racket being run out of the hall. In the court papers, prosecutors say Adam Sandler, 52, who has no relation to the comic actor with the same name, used the legitimately licensed bingo hall to mask the illegal gambling operation. Prosecutors say that since they began their probe the operation has raked in at least $4.1 million in criminal proceeds.

Trump Taj Mahal Fined Record $10 Million for Inadequate AML Program

As disclosed recently in a bankruptcy court filing, on January 27, 2015, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) imposed a $10 million civil money penalty pursuant to the Bank Secrecy Act (the “BSA”) on Trump Taj Mahal Associates LLC. Trump Taj Mahal consented to the imposition of the penalty (subject to the bankruptcy court’s approval) and admitted that its conduct violated the BSA. This $10 million penalty, reported to be the largest BSA penalty ever imposed upon a casino, highlights the government’s ongoing focus on the gaming industry. The BSA requires financial institutions, which include casinos, to establish and implement policies to detect and prevent money laundering. Casinos must implement anti-money laundering (“AML”) programs that require, among other things, the creation of internal controls to ensure compliance with the BSA, independent testing of their AML programs, AML training for personnel, the designation of individuals responsible for AML compliance, and the implementation of procedures to identify suspicious transactions and determine whether records must be made or maintained under the BSA. Trump Taj Mahal admitted that it failed to implement such an AML program.

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