Daily Archives: August 19, 2020

A Brief Look at Crime 8/03 – 8/09

Million-dollar online gambling ring busted 

An online gambling ring worth over VND20 trillion ($859.6 million) in northern Hung Yen Province was recently busted, leading to 20 arrests. The ring, operating millions of accounts since 2018, is the largest in Hung Yen yet uncovered, provincial police said Thursday. Upon the bust, police seized several mobile phones, computers, SIM cards and around VND2 billion ($85,963) in cash as evidence. Authorities also  froze over 100 bank accounts involved in the case. The four masterminds managed five level-one agencies via five different gambling websites, with its server located outside Vietnam. Each website would have around 20 level-one agencies assigned to it, and each level-one agency would have dozens of level-two agencies below, all spread across the country. These agencies all display gamblers’ personal info like phone numbers or social media accounts publicly, so that players can get in touch with each other and perform transactions. The investigation is ongoing.

Sarasota-Bradenton area insurance agents charged in $6.3M Ponzi scheme 

A pair of Sarasota-Bradenton area licensed insurance agents — one who goes by the name the Annuity King on some online ads — have been charged in a $6.3 million Ponzi scheme that allegedly targeted elderly victims to liquidate traditional investments and invest with their company. Wasserman, authorities contend, spent a significant amount of the victim-investors’ money to finance a lavish lifestyle. Expenses allegedly included luxury residences, high-end vehicles, jet skis, jewelry, entertainment, gambling, retail shopping, home improvements, personal insurance and more. He also used proceeds, authorities say, for the benefit of family members. Wasserman and Rossman each face a maximum penalty of 20 years on each of the six counts charged in the indictment if convicted on all counts. The Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation investigated the case.

Lincoln man gets probation, jail time for embezzling $130K from brewery equipment maker

The 38-year-old former project manager at Alpha Brewing Operations has been sentenced to five years’ probation for embezzling more than $130,000 over his two years with the company. Lancaster County District Judge Andrew Jacobsen sentenced him Tuesday to the probation term and 90 days in jail to be served next year. Bunger had worked as a project manager at Alpha Brewing from June 2017 until his dismissal June 24, 2019. In an affidavit for Bunger’s arrest, police said he had directed the proceeds from sales of inventory and service fees into his personal accounts for a $132,043 loss to the company. When asked about it, Bunger admitted to taking the money because of a gambling problem. Alpha Brewing is a Lincoln business that makes craft brewing and canning equipment.

Gaming regulators: 111 cases for violations in month after Las Vega casino reopenings

Gaming regulators have 111 cases of violations to Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s emergency directive, according to a Wednesday news release. Whether casinos are in danger of having their gaming licenses suspended or revoked is unclear. The Gaming Control Board has not specified where the violations took place — only that they have 111 open cases that followed extensive checks since the Declaration of Emergency Directive was put in place before casinos reopened on June 4. Among the violations that fall under the directive: face coverings for employees, and several rules that apply to sanitation practices and social distancing. The governor’s order requiring more widespread use of face masks came on June 24.

Minnesota Woman Sentenced to 4 Years in Ginseng Scam

A Minnesota woman has been sentenced to more than four years in prison after pleading guilty in an elaborate ginseng farm fraud scheme, prosecutors said Wednesday. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Mai Vang, 51, of Brooklyn Center pleaded guilty Tuesday to theft-by-swindle charges. Vang also must pay restitution of more than $480,000 to the nine victims she defrauded. Vang had eluded arrest for two years after charges were filed against her in 2017. She was found in Georgia  in March and extradited to Minnesota. Prosecutors said Vang convinced members of Minnesota’s Hmong community to invest in a ginseng farm she claimed to own near Wausau, Wisconsin. One couple who knew Vang from church gave her their life savings. Vang allegedly spent money from the victims to gamble at a casino.

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