Monthly Archives: February 2020

Florida Gov Looking Forward to Meeting with Seminole Tribe to Discuss Gambling Pact as Current Gambling Efforts Stall

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the many attempts to establish a feasible gambling pact between the Florida government and the Seminole tribe.  Most recentlythe Tribe ended payments to Florida after the state failed to properly eliminate a form of table gambling that the Seminole’s held exclusive rights to offer.  Attempts were made to come up with a deal, but nothing materialized. As this year’s legislative session nears close, the two parties find themselves in a similar situation, though Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is hopeful that a meeting and a solution might be on the horizon.  An online source reports:

House and Senate leaders appear unable to reach agreement on a sweeping gambling deal, but Gov. Ron DeSantis hasn’t thrown in the towel.

For the second week in a row, the House Gaming Control Subcommittee canceled a scheduled Friday meeting, where any deal between the two chambers could have been revealed.

Discussions between legislative leaders have been ongoing, but the Seminole Tribe of Florida — a key player in any gambling deal — has not been part of the talks.

“I have not met with them yet. But I would like to have a resolution, and so I anticipate meeting with them in the not-too-distant future,” DeSantis told reporters Thursday. “I hope we can get something done. I think it would be good, if we can. But that is definitely on the agenda on the not-too-distant future.”

Gov. DeSantis believes this year the circumstances are different, and his administration has been given more time to properly evaluate the needs of both sides.  News 4 Continues: 

Sen. Wilton Simpson, a Trilby Republican who will take over as Senate president in November, reached a deal with the Seminoles in the waning days of the 2019 legislative session. But DeSantis, who took office in January 2019, said he didn’t have enough time to vet the proposal before the session ended.

He said Thursday that he focused during his first session last year on “the things that I campaigned on,” which did not include a deal with the Seminoles.

“I got something very late, and there was just no way I was going to sign the state up for a 30-year agreement, 48 hours into it. So, I’ve had a chance to really understand what the state should benefit from it.

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

A Brief Look at Crime 02/17 – 02/23

East Bay woman used company credit cards, bank accounts to fund gambling

A federal judge sentenced a Pinole woman to just more than two years in prison for her role in a wire fraud embezzlement scheme, authorities said. Sherryl Santos-Tan, 36, received a 25-month sentence and was ordered by Judge Edward M. Chen to pay restitution for wire fraud after she defrauded a person and her former employer of more than $300,000, U.S. Attorney David Anderson of the Northern District of California said. According to Anderson, Santos-Tan admitted in her plea that she exploited the use of credit cards that didn’t belong to her. She also said she diverte money to accounts under her control, made purchases for her own personal use, and used the money at casinos.

Ex-‘Bachelor’ Contestant Stripped of $1M Fantasy Sports Win

Sports gambling giant DraftKings won’t give a former “Bachelor” contestant the $1 million prize for winning an online fantasy football contest after she and her husband were accused of cheating. Jade Roper-Tolbert, who appeared in “The Bachelor” and “Bachelor in Paradise” television series in 2015, was no longer listed as the winner of DraftKings’ “Millionaire Maker” contest, which involved picking a lineup of players from the NFL’s four wild-card games. Roper-Tolbert beat more than 100,000 entries to take the top prize in the “Millionaire Maker contest.” But some in the fantasy sports community were quick to complain that both she and her husband, Tanner Tolbert, also an alum of the “Bachelor” franchise, each submitted the maximum 150 entries allowed in the contest, and that nearly all the entries had a uniquely different lineup of players. That suggests the two may have colluded to give themselves the best shot at winning the top prize, which is not allowed under the contest rules.

Young children left unattended while parents gamble at Massachusetts casinos

25 Investigates found 21 reports of adults leaving children unattended at the three Massachusetts casinos in 18 months, according to records from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and State Police. Ten of those incidents were reported during Encore Boston Harbor’s first six months of business. The reports show many of the children involved were under the age of 12. In one incident, a 6-year-old boy was found wandering the sixth floor of the hotel. The boy had “urinated his pants,” and told security “his mother was in the casino,” the report said. Investigators later determined he was left alone in the room for six hours. “This is par for the course with a casino,” said Marlene Warner, executive director at the Mass Council on Compulsive Gambling. “No, I don’t think this is normal behavior,” Warner said. “Leaving your six-year-old unattended in a hotel room for hours on end? You run down the hall for ice, that’s normal. Leaving someone for hours is not normal.” Warner said preoccupation or being too distracted to focus on your children, is a warning sign for a potential gambling addiction. “It’s a playground for adults whether they have a gambling problem or not, and I think often times responsibilities are thrown aside. Unfortunately, sometimes I think that means care for their children,” Warner said.

4 killed in cockfighting ring in Vietnam

Four people were shot dead at an illegal cockfighting betting ring in southern Vietnam, state media reported on. Local residents heard gunshots and screams from a garden where the cockfight took place, according to Cong An Nhan dan website, the Ministry of Public Security’s official mouthpiece. “There was a quarrel over cockfight betting which led to the shooting,” the website reported. State-run VNExpress news site said the suspected shooter fled the scene on a motorbike and was arrested later on Wednesday. Police refused to Comment. Gun violence is extremely uncommon in Vietnam, where it is illegal for citizens to own firearms and the black market for weapons is limited. Betting on cockfights is also illegal, although the pastime is ubiquitous underground in the gambling-mad country.

8 Miami Residents Plead Guilty To Scheme To Steal Millions From Miccosukee Casino 

Eight Miami-Dade County residents could face 20-year prison sentences each after pleading guilty to computer fraud and an embezzlement scheme to steal millions from Miccosukee Resort & Gaming. Federal authorities say four of the defendants, Michel Aleu, Lester Lavin, Yohander Jorrin Melhen, and Leonardo Betancourt, were all former employees and licensees of Miccosukee Gaming. They pled guilty and were convicted of conspiracy to steal funds from Miccosukee Gaming, conspiracy to commit computer fraud, and money laundering conspiracy. Their respective wives, Maria Del Pilar, Anisleydi Vergel Hermida, and Milagros Marile Acosta Torres, pled guilty and stand convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering offenses.

Marlow IT boss used company cash to buy £175k-worth of phones to fund gambling habit

The IT boss of an international City law firm who used company cash to buy £175,000 worth of high-end mobile phones, which he sold to fund his online gambling habit has been spared jail. Instead, Marlow father-of-two Justin Lowdon, 44, who was employed by US-based Proskauer Rose at their Bishopsgate office received a suspended two year jail sentence on Thursday (February 6). Recorder SJ Phillips QC told him: “The amount was significant. You were employed as the IT manager and you ordered mobile phones, which were not required and sold them on for your own benefit. “The reason you did this is because you were under a lot of stress in your job, you had an online gambling addiction and significant personal debt. “There is no excuse for what you did and this criminal behaviour you know is wrong and you should not have done it.

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

Missouri Legislators at Odds Over Proper way to Regulate Illegal Gambling Machines

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing issues raised from illegal slot machines that have emerged all over the state of Missouri.  With an estimated 14,000 machines spread across the state, it’s not an insignificant issue. So it’s not surprising that some disagreement over the exact way to regulate, but the reasons for the disagreement range from too harsh punishment to the lack of expanded gambling to push in lieu of these illegal gambling machines.  The St. Louis Post Dispatch explains:

An effort to crack down on rogue slot machine operators is facing opposition from a bipartisan group of lawmakers who object to proposed penalties against business owners, among other provisions.

Sen. Mike Cunningham, R-Rogersville, shelved his bill Monday after other lawmakers also complained the proposed crackdown — which would clearly outlaw the slot-machine type games spreading to gas stations, bars and clubs — was not accompanied by a corresponding expansion of legal gambling in the state.

Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, has said that the state must address illegal gambling before it considers new forms of legalized betting. “Until we can fix illegal gaming in this state, I don’t see how we can advance legal gaming,” Schatz said at a news conference last week.

Some lawmakers said the Cunningham’s proposed penalties for operating an illegal slot machine were too harsh, requiring the supervisor of liquor control to pull a store’s liquor license if law enforcement finds an illegal game. The operator would have 10 days to remove the games in question before the state is required to act.

The debate continues in the Missouri Senate all while various political contributions flow in from the machines manufacturers.  It’s clear that enough factions in Missouri see the necessity to regulate these machines but time will tell which direction the legislation will go.  

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

A Brief Look at Crime 02/10 – 02/16

Texas parents charged after car, infant stolen while they gambled

A Texas couple who had gone into a gas station to gamble came out tofind that their vehicle and the baby who they had left inside it were missing, police said. Kimberley Cook, 21, and Anthony Blue, 29, were arrested Monday on child endangerment charges, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. The couple left their 16-month-old in a running Chrysler in the parking lot of a Shell station north of Houston around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, the sheriff said in a statement. The couple occasionally checked on the child while playing 8 Liner slot machines inside, officials said. The car was reported stolen around midnight. A park ranger discovered their 16-month-old at a playground by a park ranger. Authorities said the child was taken to a hospital and is in good condition.

Stamford Woman Who Stole Over $100K From Store Rearrested

A Stamford woman who pleaded guilty to stealing over $100,000 from a Greenwich convenience store was rearrested Monday after missing a scheduled court date, during which she was supposed to present a plan to pay back the store’s owner, the Stamford Advocate reports. Julmeus was eventually confronted by her employer and admitted to the thefts, which she also admitted to Greenwich detectives, police said. According to the Stamford Advocate, Julmeus said she used the money to pay off her husband’s gambling debts and help her family in Haiti. In July, she pleaded guilty to the larceny charge and was offered a 10-year suspended sentence and five years probation if she made restitution.

Man is killed by ‘armed’ chicken: Spectator bleeds to death after being sliced by a blade tied to a rooster

A man in India has been killed during a cockfight after a sharp blade tied to a rooster cut his abdomen. The cockfight took place in Pragadavaram village in West Godavari, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, despite a Supreme Court ban on the practice. Cockfight organisers tied the razor-sharp blade to the leg of the rooster, police said. The fatal injury was reportedly inflicted as one of the organisers held the animal in his hands, waiting to release it into the arena to fight. Without warning, the bird suddenly struggled against his grip in a bid for freedom, and the blade fatally pierced the abdomen of a spectator who was standing nearby, inflicting a deep wound. Organisers of the cock fights, called kodipandayam in the Telugu speaking states, continue to host the betting contests, despite a ban on the practice.

Longtown hotel boss stole £107,000 to fund “crippling” gambling addiction

A TRUSTED hotel manager from Longtown stole almost £107,000 from his employer over seven years to feed his ‘crippling’ addiction to gambling. Carlisle Crown Court heard today how 58-year-old Stewart McIntosh – whose £18,000 a year job as manager at the Graham Arms Hotel in Longtown came with a flat – was regarded as both a trusted employee and a friend by the hotel’s owners. Yet he carried out the thefts to pay for a gambling addiction which began 15 years ago. His defence lawyer David Wales told the court that McIntosh, of English Street, Longtown, saw his addiction spiral out of control with the advent of online gambling, which he did through his mobile phone.

Notorious leader of Hartford drug and gambling operation sentenced to life without parole in ‘brutal’ kidnapping-murder

A man Hartford police have long considered one of the most dangerous men in the city was sentenced to life without parole in federal court Friday for the kidnapping and murder a drug dealer who had been lured into a phony drug deal. Harold “Oink” Cook was the leader of a gang who used an illegal gambling parlor on Enfield Street as headquarters from which they they sold drugs and hatched schemes to rob other drug dealers. He was sentenced for the murder of 11-years ago of 35-year Charles Teasley, who was abducted, bound, beaten, stabbed and forced to hand over safe before being shot repeatedly in the head and left in a car on Colebrook Street.

High-stakes sports gambler charged in $9.6M fraud

A high-stakes sports gambler from Illinois, who was depicted on social media going all-in on a lavish lifestyle with private jets and sports cars, has been charged with defrauding an investor out of $9.6 million. Robert Gorodetsky, 27, who goes by “BigRobStyle” on social media, is facing 20 years in prison after federal charges were filed Tuesday in U.S District Court in Chicago. He was also charged with filing a false tax return, according to court documents. In December 2017, Gorodetsky was profiled in a USA Today piece titled, “Is this the future face of sports gambling? In the interview, he spoke of his advice-driven gambling business which allowed him to maintain his expensive and flashy lifestyle. On Wednesday, federal prosecutors alleged that “Big Rob” Gorodetsky defrauded an individual, “Investor A,” out of $9.6 million — after lying about how he would use the money that person invested as well as the actual returns on the cash. Records show he defrauded “Investor A” between 2014 to 2018, according to Chicago’s WBBM-TV. He spent that money to wager on sports as well as pay for living, travel and entertainment expenses — including for luxury cars and jewelry, according to court documents.

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

Florida not Likely to Legalize Sports Betting this Legislative Session

Casino Watch Focus has reported on various efforts to legalize sports betting in Florida, including methods that would attempt to get around the Voters in Charge initiative.  That initiative saw the passage of a constitutional amendment that requires a vote of the people to expand gambling. It would appear that fears over such methods can be set aside, as it’s being reported that its unlikely sports betting will be legalized this legislative session.  An online source reports:

Sports betting isn’t likely to make much, if any, headway in Florida this year, according to state political insiders with connections in Tallahassee. The Florida Legislature is currently in session until mid-March. But with 2020 being an election year, incumbents’ priorities may boil down to passing a budget, not drawing the ire of constituents and not much else.

The Tampa Bay Times recently surveyed 150 “insiders” – defined as lobbyists, politicians, activists, party workers, campaign staff and donors – to assess the odds of various high-profile bills making their way to the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). Sixty-three percent of the connected group said sports betting is a no-go in the Sunshine State this year.

“It doesn’t seem like there’s any chance it’ll be legalized in time for the 2020 football season,” said Brian Edwards, founder of Florida-based, in an interview with “In fact, we might be looking at three to four years before Florida gets on board.”

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

A Brief Look at Crime 02/03 – 02/09

Illinois Gaming Board moves to yank video gambling license after accusing owner of offering a $5 million ‘illegal inducement’ to betting parlor chain

The Illinois Gaming Board has moved to strip video gambling operator Rick Heidner of his license after accusing him of offering a $5 million “illegal inducement” to the owner of a chain of gambling parlors, records show. State officials filed the action Tuesday, saying they had learned that Heidner, who operates Gold Rush Amusements, with multiple sites in the Sauk Valley, offered the money after the owners of Laredo Hospitality told him they were moving to pull his video gambling machines from 44 of their gambling parlors, according to the complaint for disciplinary action filed with the board by its staff. The Tribune obtained the complaint through an open records request.

Gaming officials filed two counts against Gold Rush. The first alleges that Heidner violated the Video Gaming Act prohibition against “giving anything of value to an establishment as an incentive or inducement to locate (video gaming terminals) in that establishment.” The second count cites a nearly identical prohibition that “requires that licensed terminal operators ‘offer or provide nothing of value to any licensed video gaming location or any agent or representative of any licensed video gaming location as an incentive or inducement to locate, keep or maintain video gaming terminals at the licensed video gaming Location.” After each count in the complaint, Gaming officials wrote Gold Rush’s “terminal operator license should be REVOKED.”

Brothers guilty of Marysville murder for casino winnings

Two brothers have been convicted of robbing and killing a man for his casino winnings last year outside the Village Motor Inn in Marysville. A jury found both Jorge Nava “Speedy” Martinez Jr., 33, and Jose Antonio “Chi Chi” Nava, 32, guilty Tuesday afternoon of first-degree murder. On Feb. 20, 2018, the brothers attacked Tye Burley outside of the Motor Inn, knocking him to the ground and kicking him. Martinez was accused of firing the fatal shot — by accident, he has said, according to a statement from his mother that appears in court papers. And Nava took Burley’s wallet, possibly filled with up to $7,000 in cash, according to the charges. Burley, 30, died two days later at the hospital from a gunshot wound to the head. Martinez and Nava were arrested days later in California.

Former Pastor Steals $288K From Church to Feed Gambling Addiction

A former pastor who embezzled more than $288,000 from the United Pentecostal Church has been sentenced to five years of probation. The Missoulian reports 66-year-old Kenneth Hogue was sentenced in federal court in Missoula on Thursday after previously pleading guilty to a wire fraud charge. Hogue was responsible for depositing offerings and writing checks for expenses in his role as treasurer of the church’s Rocky Mountain District. Prosecutors say he wrote himself unauthorized checks, withdrew church money from an ATM and transferred funds into his account from 2012 to 2016. A $5,000 transfer alerted authorities to the theft. Hogue’s attorney said his client siphoned the money to feed a gambling addiction and started paying the church back long before he was charged.

Taiwanese actor Ming Dao’s brother suspected of killing wife and child in grisly gambling debt related murder-suicide 

Taiwanese actor Ming Dao’s older brother was reportedly found dead with his wife and son on Sunday afternoon (Jan 5) in a forested area beside a temple in Neihu District, Taipei. According to Taiwanese news outlet Apple Daily, Ming’s brother, a 42-year-old man surnamed Lin, was found hanging from a tree while his wife, a 40-year-old woman and their 12-year-old son were found dead beside him. Both reportedly had strangulation marks on their necks – giving rise to speculation that Lin had killed his own wife and child in a murder-suicide. The 39-year-old said he often had to help his brother pay off debts and felt silly for saving money just for his brother to gamble it away and once called him a “ticking time bomb”.

Timeshare resort manager arrested for massive elder fraud and embezzlement targeting timeshare owners 

Katherine Tice Craig, a/k/a Kathy Tice, has been arraigned on federal charges of mail fraud.   The defendant allegedly embezzled over $2 million dollars from a company she was managing. “Craig’s scheme defrauded over 1,000 timeshare owners who were her employer’s customers,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.   “Most of these victims were elderly. She allegedly collected and spent the fees owed the company on gambling and trips for herself.” Craig spent much of the embezzled funds on gambling, including many trips to the Beau Rivage casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, and high-volume purchases of Georgia Lottery tickets.   Money that should have been used by CSG to run the resort and fulfill its obligations to timeshare owners was allegedly embezzled by Craig instead.

Two Shot at Illegal Gambling Facility in Long Beach 

Two people were wounded Monday night in a shooting inside an illegal gambling facility in Long Beach. Police responded to the 1100 block of East Artesia Boulevard, near Lemon Avenue, about 9:20 p.m. and found a man with gunshot wounds to his upper body and legs, according to the Long Beach Police Department. The man was taken to a hospital by Long Beach Fire Department paramedics, police said. While on scene, officers were informed of a second victim who was also shot in the upper body and legs, but drove himself to a hospital, police said. Both victims had stable vital signs, police said.

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

Illegal Slot Machine Manufacture Faces Criminal Charges In Missouri

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing saga of illegal gambling machines that have popped up all over Missouri.  Gambling is restricted to the 13 licensed casinos along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers only.  However, new slot machines have surfaced in gas stations and other establishments that have caught the ire of law enforcement.  At first only a few cases again the establishments were filed and very little attention was given to them. Then as more state wide attention emerged, several different attempts were made to eradicate them, including a civil lawsuit by legitimate manufactures against the illegal slot machines manufacturer.  That same manufacturer is now facing criminal charges. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports:

A county prosecutor has filed illegal gambling charges against Torch Electronics, one of the largest operators of unregulated slot machines in the state. Torch, owned by Wildwood businessman Steve Miltenberger, is one of the companies whose machines have triggered a mixed response from law enforcement. 

The company is also a player in Missouri politics, contributing more than $20,000 to Gov. Mike Parson’s election effort. The filing is the first known instance of a county prosecutor in Missouri bringing charges against the company. According to a probable cause statement, two Brookfield Police Department officers on Sept. 12 removed three “slot machines” from the County Line Convenience store after speaking with store manager Tannis Williams.

Because the machines are unregulated, machine revenues don’t go to public education, there are no rules for acceptable payouts, and there are no state gambling addiction resources funded by machine revenues. Money from Torch and its owner, Steven Miltenberger, flowed to numerous politicians last year, according to Missouri Ethics Commission records.

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

A Brief Look at Crime 01/20 – 02/02

Former casino director of benefits accused of stealing $75K in gift cards

The former director of benefits for Penn National Gaming is facing charges after authorities say she stole and used more than $75,000 worth of gift cards intended for the company’s employees. According to a news release from the Berks County district attorney’s office, Denise M. Bitler, 56, of Collegeville is facing charges that include theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received,theft by unlawful taking or disposition, theft by deception, access device fraud, unlawful use of a computer and receiving stolen property. Berks County detectives began their investigation July 9 when they were contacted by Penn National Gaming in Wyomissing, which owns and operates 41 casinos and racetracks in 19 states, including the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville. The losses suffered by Penn National in this case come to $75,350, according to detectives. Charges were filed Wednesday, and Bitler surrendered to the authorities Thursday.

Elderly mother of former Virginia state lawmaker indicted on felony embezzlement charges

The 89-year-old mother of a late former state lawmaker is accused of stealing more than $180,000 over a three-year stretch from an American Legion Women’s Auxiliary in Hampton, where she had been treasurer for more than four decades. Anna S. Gear — who lives in a nursing home and turns 90 in February — was indicted by a Hampton grand jury on Dec. 2 with eight counts of felony embezzlement from the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 48 between February of 2015 and May of 2018. One of Anna Gear’s sons said that “all of the money” went to another son, former state Del. Thomas D. “Tom” Gear, to feed his gambling addiction. It came to light, he said, when Tom Gear died by suicide in June 2018. “He was a compulsive gambling addict of the worst kind,” said Donald “Don” Gear, 58, of Hampton. “Sports gambling and day trading on the stock market on the margin. He would go to casinos. And he frequently did all three of these things at the same time … He had a bookmaker and was always going to Atlantic City.”

Dead dogs allegedly fed to spectators of dog-fighting ring

Police in Brazil made a grisly discovery after raiding an international dog-fighting ring in which organizers allegedly barbecued the losing animals and fed them to its spectators. Brazilian police said 41 people — including doctors, veterinarians, a military police officer, foreigners and teenagers — were arrested last Saturday when they stormed a farm in Mairipora on the outskirts of Sao Paulo’s metropolitan area. Authorities said they rescued 19 pit bulls — some were seriously injured and others dead — and found a barbecue with a large piece of dog meat that was served to participants at the event. The suspects face charges of criminal association, mistreatment of animals with aggravating death and gambling.

‘Crazy Eddie’ nephew accused of cheating investors of $800K, gambling their money

The nephew of “Crazy” Eddie Antar was charged with theft on Tuesday for allegedly stealing nearly $800,000 from investors in New Jersey and New York and using much of the money to gamble. Sam A. Antar, 44, of New York, also was named in a civil complaint filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, authorities said. Antar’s victims trusted him to invest their money as promised, said Veronica Allende, director of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice. “Instead he allegedly used their money for gambling or spent it on himself and his family.”

Suspect in Montana Casino Shooting Had Long Criminal History

A Montana man connected to a casino shooting that left three people dead had a long criminal history and was being sought by police before the attack, according to public records and court documents filed Wednesday. Deputy U.S. marshals shot and killed 41-year-old Ricky Lee Gardipee early Tuesday in the city of Great Falls, about a mile (1.5 kilometers) away from the Emerald City Casino where three people were killed and a fourth was wounded, a coroner said. The Great Falls Tribune reports that Gardipee also was wanted for misdemeanor assault at the time of the shooting, which occurred about 2 a.m. Tuesday in the casino along one of the city’s main commercial strips. He was fatally shot about three hours later behind an elementary school. Police found the three bodies inside the casino when they arrived. The victims were 53-year-old Cheryl Ann Larsen, 60-year-old Wendy Joanne Carlson and 61-year-old Steve Mitchell Hale.

4 Staten Islanders charged in $11M illegal gambling operation

Six men from Staten Island and New Jersey — including a reputed Bonanno crime family captain — have been charged with allegedly running an illegal Internet-based gambling operation that netted more than $11 million in wagers, the Brooklyn district attorney announced on Wednesday. The alleged scheme, which ran between Sept. 2018 and March 2019, involved members of the conspiracy accepting sports wagers for professional and collegiate games from customers through various means from Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, New Jersey and elsewhere, according to a release from the office of Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “Illegal gambling is not a victimless crime, but an unlawful conduct that is often connected to loansharking, money laundering and to organized crime,” Gonzalez said. “These defendants are charged with allegedly running lucrative gambling operations that took in millions of dollars in bets. We have now shut down their enterprises and will seek to hold them accountable.”

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