A Brief Look at Crime 05/11 – 05/17

Pair of masked gunmen rob illegal coronavirus gambling den, kill host

A pair of masked gunmen robbed an illicit coronavirus gambling den in Brooklyn — and fatally shot the host of the party, police sources said Tuesday. Fifteen people were inside at the time — all gathered around a pool table where they were throwing dice and betting money, sources said. The victim, 48-year-old Kenny Mark, tried to put up a fight but was eventually shot in the torso by one of the gunmen, sources added. Meanwhile, the other suspect grabbed cash off the table, sources said. Mark was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where he died. The gunman is apparently known to the victim’s family and was one of the gamblers — but things turned violent when he lost a chunk of money, according to one of the victim’s family members. “A young man lost his money, got mad, went and got a gun, and killed my cousin,” his 60-year-old cousin Darlene Boston told The Post. “They shouldn’t have been playing dice during the pandemic, of course, they shouldn’t be doing that,” she said.

Two Staten Islanders with mob ties seek release from prison due to coronavirus

Eugene “Boobsie” Castelle, a Staten Island man and reputed soldier in the Lucchese organized crime family, and Daniel “Shrek” Capaldo, a Staten Islander and alleged Colombo crime family associate, were both arrested in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Castelle, 60, who is currently seeking appeal on his 2019 conviction for his connection with an illegal gambling operation, recently returned to prison after falling ill with pneumonia, wrote Richard Levitt, his appeal lawyer, in court documents filed Sunday in Manhattan Federal Court. Levitt requested that Castelle, who is currently serving a sentence at Danbury Federal Correctional Institution in Connecticut, be admitted to “bail pending appeal or, in the alternative, at least until the COVID-1 crisis has subsided.” Levitt said, “at least one Danbury staff member has already tested positive for COVID-19 and inevitably others will,” mentioning the spread of the virus in Rikers Island, where some prisoners have been released.

Gaming casino operators arrested

Hertford County Sheriff Dexter Hayes said that Jamil Marwan Yazaji and Rawad Sabra, both of Jacksonville, Florida, were arrested after a search  of The Best, a gaming casino located at 2327 US 13 South, Ahoskie, was found to be in violation of state laws pertaining to those types of businesses. Hayes said five gambling tables (known as ‘fish tables”) were seized upon the execution of the search warrant. Also seized was $90,232 in U.S. currency as well as two pistols, one of which was reported stolen from Jacksonville, Florida.  Both men were charged with one misdemeanor count of illegal gambling, and one felony count each of operating five or more gaming tables and possession of five or more gaming tables.

Caesars Entertainment fined amid crackdown on gambling addiction

A casino company has been fined a record £13m by the Gambling Commission for failures relating to VIP schemes that the regulator is considering banning. Three senior managers at Caesars Entertainment, which has 11 casinos in UK cities and seaside towns, will also lose their licence to run a gambling business. The sanction marks the second time in less than three weeks that the regulator has handed out a record penalty, after Betway was forced to pay out £11.6m  in March. The tougher stance comes as the commission is under pressure, accused of being too weak after a damning report that said it was being outmuscled by the gambling industry and incapable of ensuring vulnerable people were protected.

The regulator found that Caesars was guilty of a series of serious systematic failings in its treatment of VIPs, who are typically offered perks to inspire loyalty because they bet and lose large sums. The failures included allowing a customer to lose £323,000 in a year, despite clear signs of gambling addiction such as playing for five hours on more than 30 occasions. Another customer who was known to have signed up to “self-exclude” from gambling was allowed to start playing again, losing £240,000 over a 13-month period. Another person, a self-employed nanny, told Caesars she had spent her savings and was borrowing from family and using her overdraft to gamble but the company still allowed her to lose £18,000 in a year. A retired postman also lost £15,000 in 44 days without being properly asked for information about the source of his funds.

Rowan Co. business advertised as arcade raided for illegal gambling

A business in Rowan County, that advertised as an arcade was actually an illegal gambling casino, deputies said. Officers executed a search warrant Wednesday at FishZilla Arcade in Salisbury after a two-month investigation. Deputies said the business is accused of committing multiple violations, including allowing customers to bet credits in violations of state law and paying cash for winnings, which is also a state violation. According to authorities, the business has 37 server-based gaming terminals, four fish tables with 38 terminals and a variety of games. Officials said they seized servers connected to the gaming systems, CPUs, printers, a money counter and other evidence related to the gaming Operation. Officers said having more than five machines to gamble money is a felony.

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