A Brief Look at Crime 12/16 – 12/22

Bribery charge against ex-state Rep. Luis Arroyo brings fresh scrutiny to sweepstakes machines, raises questions about potential for abuse as gambling expands

State lawmakers have worked over the past decade to bring various forms of gambling out of the shadows and onto the tax rolls, from legalizing video poker at bars and restaurants in 2009 to authorizing sports betting this spring. But the latest turn in a sprawling federal probe into public corruption from Chicago to Springfield has shined a light on a type of gambling that has flourished in a gray area of the law. Chicago Democrat Luis Arroyo, who resigned from the Illinois House on Friday after being charged with bribery Monday, is alleged to have offered kickbacks to an unnamed senator in exchange for the veteran lawmaker’s support for legislation that would regulate and tax so-called sweepstakes machines. The allegations laid out in the criminal complaint against Arroyo evoke some of the worst fears about the potential for abuse as the state moves forward with a massive expansion lawmakers approved this spring that includes six new casinos, slot machines and table games at horse tracks, and more video gambling terminals.

Sports Bettor Who Sent Players Social Media Death Threats Sentenced to Prison

A former sports bettor who was attending college in Massachusetts will spend the next 18 months in prison for threatening at least 45 professional and collegiate athletes between July and December 2017. Addison Choi, now 23-years-old, pleaded guilty in May to sending death threats to the athletes via Instagram posts. At the time, Choi was a student and a member of the Babson College soccer team in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Prosecutors called Choi a “prolific” sports bettor who needed to borrow money from family and friends to pay off his gambling debts. The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts redacted the specific names of the players he threatened, but didn’t hold back on sharing what Choi said in the messages. On July 27, 2017, Choi posted on one professional athlete’s Instagram, “I will kill you and your family and f****** hang them on a tree you stupid ugly mother*****.” He added, “I hope you f****** die you stupid monkey n*****.” Another post to a separate athlete read, “I’ll find your f****** family and skin them alive you stupid f***, I hope you never play again.” Prosecutors didn’t say what illicit avenue Choi used to place his sports bets. The gambling activity remains illegal in Massachusetts.

Hallglen drugs mule jailed after found on M6 with £180,000 haul 

Because Nairns appeared “anxious and nervous”, his Ford Focus was searched and this revealed a cardboard box in the boot which was “stuffed full” of illegal drugs. These comprised two packages containing 560g of high purity, uncut class A cocaine potentially worth up to £56,000 on the street; around 12kg of class B amphetamine in six large packages potentially worth £120,000; and almost 200g of cannabis in two bags which could have been worth around £1,260. A personal use amount of cannabis was recovered from a Kinder egg container. “The defendant was obviously arrested and interviewed,” prosecutor Charles Brown told Carlisle Crown Court. “He gave a prepared statement in his interview and elaborated slightly on it. He went from Falkirk to Liverpool to collect the packages. “He had been approached by someone who promised that his gambling debt would be written off, if he performed the courier role and brought the drugs back. He stated he knew what he was doing and did it on his own for that motive.”

NHL Player Sued by Las Vegas Casino for $500,000

Evander Kane, the San Jose Sharks forward, is facing a $500,000 lawsuit from the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The casino claims the NHL player did not pay the debts he owed it after using gambling markers at the facility. The lawsuit was filed in the Clark County District Court on Monday. It alleges that eight gambling markers were used by Kane in and around April 15, 2019. The size of these markers ranges from $20,000 to $100,000. Markers are used in casinos by high-stakes players instead of them carrying around large sums of cash. The casino facility provides markers on credit, and these are to be paid back through methods like wire transfer. Kane’s casino visit occurred at the same time that the San Jose Sharks were in Las Vegas to play the Vegas Golden Knights, as part of the first round of the Stanley Cup play-off series. The Knights were victorious in controversial fashion after seven games in the series. Kane was also arrested in 2016 for allegedly grabbing three women by their necks and hair during different altercations in Buffalo. The charges were subsequently dropped on condition that Kane would not get into trouble again. The prosecutor on the case deemed his alleged behavior “arrogant, boorish and surly, but not criminal.”

1 killed, 3 injured in shootout at illegal gambling business in Sumter

A shootout at a home with illegal gambling and alcohol sales in Sumter left one person dead and several others injured. Officers said two men they consider suspects — Florentino Wilson and another man who has not been identified — spent time at the house on Thursday earlier in the night. When they went back to the home around 11:30, police said they were armed, and that prompted a shootout between them and several other patrons of the illegal business. Wilson was killed. Emergency crews rushed him to the hospital but he could not be saved. Police said he was 57-years-old and from Sumter.

Former disability advocate volunteer indicted on charges of exploitation of disabled individual

A Whitehouse woman has been indicted in connection with exploiting amentally disabled couple to fund gambling activities. This same womanwas formerly involved with a volunteer group whose stated purpose was to empower adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Kristi Deshay Perryman, 43, was indicted Oct. 3 by a Smith County grand jury on two charges of exploitation of a child, elderly or disabledindividual, which is a third degree felony. She was arrested and released on July 9, according to jail records. Annessa Lewis, Texas Advocates executive director, said the Tyler Rose Advocates’ membership voted Perryman out as an adviser soon after her arrest. Texas Advocates is the state organization that provides support to local chapters such as the Tyler one when needed, but the area advocates run the group. An arrest warrant affidavit alleges that Perryman intentionally or knowingly caused the exploitation of the disabled individuals by withdrawing funds from the victims’ bank account for gambling and leaving insufficient funds for their expenses.

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


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