Phoenix police are looking for two men after gunshots erupted during a card game Thursday night, sending one man to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. The card game, which police say may be connected to an illegal gambling ring, took place in an abandoned building that was once a hookah lounge near 32nd Street and Cactus Road. Sgt. Vince Lewis, a Phoenix police spokesman, said a friend of the gunshot victim called 911 at 8 p.m. to report an armed robbery. The caller said his friend was shot about 10 minutes earlier. “Violence is not part of our neighborhood,” she said. “We have neighbors that always watch everything and we have good, good people around us. This is very unusual for our side of town.”
An appeals court has upheld a ruling that a New Jersey county had the right to seize more than $800,000 from the operator of an NFL survivor pool. NJ.com reports the court ruled that Monmouth County prosecutors were acting within their authority when they seized cash found in the Parlin home of John Bovery and money from his three bank accounts in 2010. The three-judge panel disagreed with Bovery, who contended that the pools weren’t illegal because he wasn’t taking bets on individual games. A judge wrote that the pools are illegal because they’re a form of gambling that isn’t sanctioned by the New Jersey constitution. Bovery settled his criminal case this spring. His attorney says Bovery plans to petition to the state Supreme Court.
Former operators of the Normandie Casino in Gardena, California have been hit with more than a million dollar penalty after the casino admitted to violating the Bank Secrecy Act in an attempt to protect its high roller customers from reporting their winnings as per federal law. The casino will now have to turn over $1.4 million which it did not report in high-value transactions to the government and also pay a fine of $1 million for its violations. The casino was sold in July after pleading guilty to the charges in January. The Normandie Casino was one of the oldest casinos in California and opened in the 1940s. The casino admitted that it did not record a number of high-value transactions in 2013 and also was guilty of not adopting and following an effective program to counter money laundering activities in the casino. During a six-week period in 2013, one of the casino’s VIP patrons is reported to have won $1 million from another customer and the casino management did not report these transactions and shielded the identity of the high-roller. The acting special agent responsible for the IRS criminal investigations, Anthony J. Orlando stated that the fines imposed on the Normandie Casino are proof of the government’s seriousness to enforce anti-money laundering laws and ensure that VIP gamblers will not be encouraged to hide their winnings.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s Office charged a Ypsilanti father, whom police say left two young children in his car while he gambled, with child abuse Tuesday. Montez D’Angelo Sistrunk, 25, was arraigned Tuesday on two counts of second-degree child abuse after leaving two young children in a vehicle while he gambled at Motor City Casino on Grand River in Detroit for nearly an hour, according to a statement issued by Worthy’s office. “An employee of the casino observed the children and alerted a security guard who removed the children from the car,” the statement said. Detroit police said the children were 5 months old and 2 years old. Sistrunk was issued a $75,000, 10 percent bond.
It’s no surprise that government workers like to party – just look at the myriad Secret Service and Drug Enforcement Agency scandals. Even the Pentagon has gotten in on the action, with employees using government travel cards at strip clubs and casinos. Not only did Defense Department employees improperly use their work credit cards, but their supervisors failed to take appropriate action after discovering the malfeasance, a report by the Pentagon’s inspector general found. The investigation was a follow-up audit of a previous report, which discovered that the military racked up 5,000 charges at casinos and strip clubs totaling more than $1 million over the course of a year.
The Normandie Casino in Gardena, California is no more, but its former owners are still on the hook for a $2.4 million penalty. In January, the owners of California’s oldest card club pled guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act and admitted to hiring independent gaming promoters to attract high-rollers. The casino also confessed to deliberately failing to file the proper transaction reports. Owned by the Miller family since 1947, the Normandie casino owners found out their sentencing fate last week. United States District Judge James Otero ordered the Millers to pay $500,000 for each of the two counts of failing to report large cash transactions and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program. Otero also ordered the Normandie casino to forfeit $1,383,530, which represents numerous unreported transactions in 2013. The Bank Secrecy Act requires casinos to report details of individual transactions over $10,000. “Our money laundering laws were enacted to prevent criminals from concealing the source of large sums of cash generated by illegal activity,” United States Attorney Eileen Decker said in a statement. “Casinos and card rooms such as Normandie are cash-intensive businesses that are particularly attractive for use by criminals seeking to launder their ill-gotten gains, so they must be vigilant in meeting their obligations under those laws,” Decker explained.
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