Monthly Archives: November 2020

Regional Fox Sports Networks to be Rebranded and Potentially Push Online Sports Betting Right on the Television

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing progression of legalized sports betting after the Supreme Court ruled sports betting doesn’t violate the wire act.  In multiple states, this has translated to typical sports betting experiences with online companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings or other sports bookies for betting directly on sports. These interactions have always been at arms length and required would-be gamblers to seek out such opportunities.  It would appear, however, that for most major sports markets, the experience is about to change and sports gambling will be thrust into consumers’ homes.  The NY Post reports:

Sinclair Broadcast Group and casino operator Bally’s Corp. are teaming up to bet big on sports gambling, The Post has learned. The two companies just signed a deal for Sinclair to rename its 21 sports networks Bally Sports, source said. Bally’s, which owns Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino, will pay Sinclair $85 million over a 10-year period for the naming rights, giving it exclusive access to fans of 42 major teams, including the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Detroit Tigers, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Kansas City Royals, sources said.

The goal, sources said, is for viewers to eventually be able to bet on games using a Bally’s online gaming tool directly from their TVs. Sinclair’s channels are currently named after Fox Sports because it bought them last year to help clear Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox.

Not only does Bally’s plan to offer online gambling, they are buying up other online gambling resources to drive additional traffic to those sites as well. The Post continues:

Separately, Bally’s is buying sports-betting software company Bet.Works for roughly $100 million and will attempt to drive traffic to its site through Sinclair, sources said.

The casino company, controlled by Soo Kim’s Standard General hedge fund, can launch the new online gaming tool in the states where sports betting is legal, including Nevada, Louisiana, Colorado and New Jersey, if it also has a physical casino there.

Bally’s, which recently changed its name from Twin River Worldwide Holdings, currently has casinos in 10 states, including Nevada, Mississippi, Missouri, Rhode Island, Colorado, New Jersey and Louisiana. MBL, the NBA and NHL still need to sign off on whether Bally’s can sponsor broadcasts to advertise their sports betting tools, sources said.

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A Brief Look at Crime 11/16 -11/22

Italy fines Google €100k for gambling ad ban violation

Italy’s gambling advertising ban has led the country’s telecom watchdog to slap a financial penalty on search engine giant Google. On Thursday, the Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (AGCOM) announced that it had imposed a ‘pecuniary administrative sanction’ against Google Ireland Ltd for violating the gambling advertising prohibitions in Italy’s so-called Dignity Decree. The Decree, which was announced in mid-2018 and took effect the following January, prohibited nearly all forms of gambling advertising and sponsorship activity. The restriction was intended to counter Italy’s problem gambling rates but locally licensed operators claimed the changes would result in a marketing surge by operators not holding Italian licenses. The specifics of AGCOM’s Google animus relate to paid search ads for, a French marketing affiliate. AGCOM’s announcement didn’t specify the size of Google’s penalty but French media reported that the fine was €100k. AGCOM said the fact that Sublimecasino’s Google presence was paid advertising meant that Google couldn’t hide behind claims that it was merely a conduit through which the site’s presence became known to Italian gamblers. Shortly after the Decree was announced, Google appeared to be taking all the right steps, informing gambling operators that as of July 16, 2018, “only state lotteries with deferred drawing will be allowed to run gambling advertisements in Italy.”

Atlantic City Casino Sting: Two Men, One Woman Indicted Over Sex Plot Involving 14-Year-Old Girl

Three suspects caught in an unnamed Atlantic City casino sex sting involving a 14-year-old girl were indicted by a grand jury on Tuesday. The inditement charges a man and woman with human trafficking. The charges also name a retired New Jersey corrections officer who arranged for the teen to meet him for sex at his home. His charges were unrelated to the casino sting. The pair accused of human trafficking could spend up to life in prison if convicted. All three defendants are from New Jersey. The indictments stem from a New Jersey State Police inquiry into personal ads last November. As part of the investigation, police responded to an online escort ad and arranged to meet the girl at the casino-hotel. The teen showed up as planned on Nov 27. She met an undercover officer and offered to have sex in exchange for money. The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the New Jersey State Police Casino Gaming Bureau and the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau, with assistance from the FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force. The indictments come a day after the local Casino Reinvestment Development Authority donated more than $230,000 to the Volunteers of America Delaware Valley to combat human trafficking in Atlantic City, the /Press of Atlantic City/ reported.

Former Kappa Alpha Psi exec is charged with embezzling $3M to feed a gambling habit

Federal authorities have charged a former executive of one of the nation’s largest Black fraternities with embezzling nearly $3 million — money they say he stole to support a gambling habit. He was fired in December 2018, after fraternity officials discovered the missing money and confronted him about his alleged theft. Anderson then confessed, according to court filings in the case, telling fraternity officials he was struggling with gambling and drinking addictions and had spent most of the funds at Harrah’s Casino. In an indictment filed Wednesday, prosecutors said Anderson began pilfering from the fraternity’s coffers in June 2012 through checks he either made out to himself or five other individuals whose signatures he forged while exchanging them for cash.

California Casino Files $38m Fraud, Money Laundering Lawsuit Against Former Execs 

Tribal owners of a California casino have filed a fraud and money laundering lawsuit in Sacramento federal court, claiming that two of its former senior employees skimmed over $1m for expenses and personal trips. The Sacramento Bee/ reported that the Berry Creek Rancheria of Maidu Indians – owners of Gold Country Casino Resort in Oroville – said that while actual losses are over $2.9m, it is also seeking more than $26m in punitive damages and over $8.8m in Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization damages. The complaint, filed on October 22, alleges former chief financial officer Deborah Howard and ex-tribal administrator Jesse Brown embezzled over $1m in a scheme involving a “secret credit card.” The suit also claims that the two laundered money from the tribal smoke shop to pay for trips to Las Vegas and Disneyland, including flights, concert tickets, and limousine rentals.

Police officer killed by cockfighting rooster’s blade while breaking up match

A police in the Philippines killed by a rooster’s blade while raiding a cockfight, an official reported Tuesday, according to a report. The rooster’s gaff, a sharp blade fixed to its leg for fighting, somehow cut through the officer’s femoral artery on his thigh, BBC News reported. The officer, identified as Lieutenant Christine Bolok, was pronounced dead at the hospital. Cockfighting is a popular sport in the Philippines, but it has been made temporarily illegal in an effort to contain the coronavirus. Three were arrested in connection with the cockfight and police are looking for three others. Seven roosters were confiscated in the raid, according to the BBC. Under normal circumstances, the sport, which is illegal in the United States because it’s considered animal cruelty, is allowed on Sundays and holidays in licensed cockpits in the Philippines.

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Spain Looking to Reclassify Loot Boxes as Gambling

Casino Watch Focus has long reported on the ongoing crackdown of loot boxes in video games.  These loot boxes are essentially a slot machine mechanic, where the player buys boxes to open as they are trying to get game specific loot.  In some cases this loot has value and is sold, which is the typical gambling.  In other cases they can’t be sold, but the mechanics are designed to get children to chase the good loot or gear in a game and as such, they dump hundreds or thousands of dollars into them.  Psychologically, they act exactly like slot machines and cause the same addiction you see with gambling.  More and more jurisdictions are recognizing these gambling-eque loot boxes for the dangers they pose to children, and are looking to regulate them accordingly. Most recently, an example of regulation in the Netherlands saw a major court ruling against publisher EA for their Fifa soccer game as they classified loot boxes as gambling.  Now it appears Spain has joined them and other European governing bodies in the notion that loot boxes should be viewed as gambling and regulated as such.  SBC News reports:

Mikel Arana, Director-General of Spain’s DGOJ, has confirmed that the regulatory agency has advised the government to introduce changes to the ‘/Gaming Law/’ in order to reclassify ‘loot boxes as games of chance’. The DGOJ’s leader urged Congress to support the initiative yesterday, stating that the government will launch a public consultation before the end of the year, aiming for new regulations to come into force by the second half of 2021.

Furthermore, Arana supported the directive to Spain’s joint commission on the ‘*/Study of Addiction Behaviour//s/*’, whilst further advising the ‘*/Responsible Gaming Advisory Council/*’ to support its review in amending the current law to establish loot boxes as gambling components.

Mirroring European counterparts, the Spanish government aims to review its digital laws with regards to protecting minors by “limiting compulsive and impulsive transactions’. The DGOJ is reportedly seeking guarantees that loot box laws and gaming protections will be included in the next phase of federal gambling reforms sanctioned by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

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A Brief Look at Crime 11/09 – 11/15

‘Conman’ stockbroker jailed for defrauding clients 

A stockbroker who funded a jet-set lifestyle by stealing his clients’ money has been jailed for six years. James Bufton, 26, stole more than £250,000 from eight victims – including a dying man, close friends and his own family – and spent it on his gambling addiction, hotel stays and helicopter flights to the Cheltenham races. When they demanded their money back and he started receiving threats, Bufton attempted to defraud HM Revenue & Customs of almost £1.3 million to meet his spiralling debts. Newport Crown Court heard that Bufton, who ran two finance companies, sweet-talked his victims with promises of high returns if they invested in non-existent stocks and shares. Timothy Evans, prosecuting, said that when the financial returns failed to materialise, Bufton would “rob Peter to pay Paul”. He spun them a web of lies, including claiming he had a brain tumour. Passing sentence, Judge Daniel Williams told Bufton: “You certainly sought to portray yourself as a successful and trustworthy investor with a lifestyle to match your glittering success. “You consumed much of it on conspicuous displays of wealth and gambled much of it away too.

Former union head accused of embezzling military labor union’s funds for online gambling

The former head of the New England chapter of the United States Army mechanics union was indicted earlier this week over claims he embezzled nearly $39,000 in funds from the organization and used the money to cover gambling costs, authorities said. Oldham, who is from Whitman, Massachusetts, was indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday and arrested on charges of wire fraud, knowingly making false statements and filing false tax returns, according to authorities. The union is comprised of military and civilian mechanics employed by the U.S. Army, and the New England chapter’s local office is in Taunton. After his predecessor retired, Oldham gained sole control of the union account, and that is when the alleged wire fraud scheme started, prosecutors said.

$7M Sports Betting Software Scheme Leads to Likely Prison Sentence for Alleged Utah Fraudster 

A Utah man has pleaded guilty to taking part in an allegedly fraudulent multi-million-dollar athletic wagering software plot via a business identified as Sindakit Software LLC. He now faces a 10-year sentence in prison. Christopher D. Hales, age 39, of Lehi, entered the plea last week in Utah federal court to wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy charges. The illicit plan led “investors” to lose at least $7 million, prosecutors revealed. The investors were promised their money would be turned into winning wagers by using the firm’s software. But the allegedly fraudulent enterprise did not have a proprietary sports betting software or even an algorithm, prosecutors said. Hales allegedly cooked up the plot with an unnamed co-conspirator in 2018 when Hales was in a halfway house for a sentence from an earlier fraud case, according to a statement from Utah US Attorney John W. Huber.

Coonan admits Crown ‘enabled’ money laundering at casino

Crown Resorts chairman Helen Coonan has conceded the casino giant facilitated money laundering at its Melbourne casino, but blamed it on “ineptitude” rather than the company deliberately “turning a blind eye” to criminals banking their dirty cash with the company. The comments made in evidence to the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority’s probity inquiry into Crown on Tuesday came a day after the financial crimes watchdog, AUSTRAC, said it was formally Crown for potential breaches of anti-money laundering laws. During her second day of evidence at the inquiry, Ms Coonan was asked about Crown’s relationship with its largest high-roller “junket” tour partner, Suncity, which is run by the alleged former Macau triad member Alvin Chau. Suncity operated a private gaming room at Crown Melbourne up until late last year when the Macau-based junket shut it down following reports in /The Age/, /Sydney Morning Herald/ and 60 Minutes  about Mr Chau’s criminal links. That series of reports triggered the ILGA inquiry, which will recommend whether Crown should keep the licence for its new Sydney casino at Barangaroo.

Police Confiscate Guns in Crackdown on Las Vegas Strip Violence

Police are seizing guns and arresting dozens of people while attempting to stem violent crime on the Las Vegas Strip. Last Friday and Saturday, authorities confiscated 10 illegal firearms and seized nearly $30,000 in cash during the effort, according to /KLAS-TV/. Authorities also made 110 arrests last weekend as part of the crackdown. Of that total, 38 were felony arrests. Police made nearly 600 “proactive stops” during this period. Most were pedestrian stops. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Nevada Highway Patrol are working together in what police call Operation Persistent Pressure to quell a surge in violence along the resort corridor. The increase in violence has left several people wounded in gunfire at or near major resorts on the Strip. Sheriff Joe Lombardo conceded this violence could hurt tourism if ignored. However, he stressed his department is devoting resources to stop the violence.

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Military Veterans Face Double the Risk of Problem Gambling over the Civilian Population

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the various efforts to deal with gambling issues in the military.  These issues don’t simply exist while active duty, but they can often be seen impacting those long after they separate.  As we focus on Veteran’s Day, it’s important to realize the range of issues they deal with extend beyond their civilian counterparts.  There are many factors to consider, and one online source helps break the gambling issues down:

The 11th month, November, on the 11^th   day is dedicated to commemorating the men and women who have served in the U.S. military. As a country, we strive to honor and protect these individuals after returning to civilian life. While there are many mental health and addiction resources available throughout the nation, one issue usually remains hidden — problem gambling.

It’s a problem any time gambling causes financial, vocational, mental or interpersonal problems in one’s life, and it’s an issue that affects roughly two million Americans. However, Veterans have elevated rates of problem gambling — at least twice the rate as the general adult population (Westermeyer et al., 2013). Additionally, the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) estimates that as many as 56,000 active duty members of the Armed Forces meet the criteria for gambling disorder.

Problem gambling is often viewed as inconsequential and limited to financial impacts among its victims. The sad reality, however, is that its impact is far reaching and can often times be deadly.  The source explains:

Compared to the national population, problem gambling may not seem like a priority. However, problem gambling can impact up to 55 percent of the population. It is estimated that each individual struggling with problem gambling can impact up to 10 additional people.

On top of that, problem gambling has the highest suicide rate among all addictions. “About 50 percent of those with disordered gambling have had suicidal thoughts. Over 17 percent of these individuals have attempted suicide,” (Moghaddam et al., 2015).

Problem gambling is also extremely underreported_ and low screening rates, especially in the military, remain a barrier. Some initial screening tools that are available include the “Lie Bet” and the “Brief Biosocial Gambling Screen.”  which provide basic questions on gambling habits.

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A Brief Look at Crime 11/02 – 11/08

Locals concerned over recent Las Vegas Strip crime, as aggravated assaults climb

The recent streak of violence on the Las Vegas Strip continued early Friday morning, with another fight leading to another shooting. This shooting happened in the MGM Grand on the casino floor near elevators, nobody was hurt. This comes after a fight on a bus led to a stabbing outside the Paris Hotel and Casino on Wednesday, after a fight led to a shooting outside the Flamingo on Sunday, and several more incidents over the past month and a half. “There’s too much violence going on down there, and I just don’t feel safe,” local Janet Kidd said. She doesn’t plan on spending any time on the Strip any time soon. Another local, Sheila Herckis, had to go to the Strip for an errand on Friday morning. She feels the same way. “There’s too much crime here in the past couple of months,” she said. “Before the COVID I would go on the Strip, kill a couple of hours. Not now. I’m home at 4:00. I just have to do an errand here.”

Feds charge suburban man, 66, with running illegal sports gambling business

Federal prosecutors have charged a 66-year-old Elmwood Park man with running an illegal sports bookmaking business in Chicago and two near-west suburbs. Gregory Emmet Paloian allegedly ran the gambling business from 2015 to 2019 in Chicago, Elmwood Park and Melrose Park, according to a two-page charging document filed Friday in Chicago. Federal authorities want Paloian to forfeit a 2017 Audi and more than $274,000. Paloian, who is charged with one count of conducting an illegal gambling business, is due for an arraignment Wednesday. The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.

Gunman shoots four men, one fatally, inside Brooklyn gambling den 

A gunman opened fire inside a backroom gambling den in Brooklyn, shooting four men — one fatally, police said Thursday. Medics rushed one victim, a man in his 30s shot in the chest, to Brookdale University Hospital, where he died, authorities said. Cops were working to determine his identity. A 44-year-old man blasted in the arm was taken to the same hospital in stable condition. A 31-year-old male shot in the leg and a 32-year-old man wounded in the shoulder were taken to Kings County Hospital in stable condition, cops said. The killer ran off and has not been caught. Police were trying to determine if the gunman was a robber or a disgruntled gambler, sources said. All of the victims have criminal records, a second source said. The man killed had recently been hospitalized with coronavirus symptoms, neighbors said. “He’s a sweet fellow,” said Michelle Smith, 51, who knew the victim by his street name, Pimp. “He just got released from the hospital for COVID

Chester County Judge Michael Cabry charged with using campaign money to feed gambling habit

A Chester County district judge is alleged to have used money from his campaign finance account to feed a six-figure gambling habit at various casinos in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, according to a criminal complaint filed against him by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. Magisterial District Judge Michael J. Cabry III, whose district court covers the Honey Brook area in the northwestern part of the county, was arrested Tuesday and charged with one felony count of theft by unlawful taking, a single count of perjury, a misdemeanor, and four violations of campaign finance laws. The complaint stated that in total, Cabry wagered more than $110,700 in 2017, although because of a large win at Delaware Park of more than $100,000, his total loss for the year was slightly over $9,000. Still, he complaint filed by Dormer alleges that bank records review in the case show Cabry’s finances were “severely depleted” during the time he was gamboling with his campaign money.

Gambling granny shoots husband dead then kills a stranger to steal her identity

On 23 March, 2018, a man was found dead under a blanket at the home he shared with his wife in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota. David Riess, 54, had been shot dead with a 22-calibre gun and his body was hidden in the bathroom. David had been missing for more than two weeks. His wife Lois had told David’s colleagues that he was busy preparing for a fishing trip and, after that, revealed he was feeling unwell. He lived with Lois at a house on the farm in Blooming Prairie. Their children had grown up and had kids of their own, making the couple both proud grandparents.

When officers turned up at the house, they found David’s dead body hidden in the bathroom with bullet wounds in his chest. He’d been covered with a blanket and his killer had jammed towels under the bathroom door to try to stop the smell of death escaping into the rest of the house. The family’s white Cadillac was missing and so was Lois. Had she been murdered, too? Investigators quickly discovered that Lois had forged cheques from David’s business account and had put $11,000 into her own name. They could see Lois’s gambling addiction was out of control and they concluded that the money was to plug her spiralling debt and to fund her habit. Suddenly Lois became the prime suspect for her husband’s brutal murder.

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Unregulated Slot Machine Enforcement in Missouri is Off to a Slow Start

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the illegal gambling machines that exploded all over Missouri.  These devices are essentially just slot machines that pre-reveal the result, meaning you aren’t really gambling on the very first pull, as its result showing, but on the next pull.  Clearly, they de facto function exactly like a slot machine and thus, they are illegal outside of a properly licensed and regulated Missouri Casino.  It’s been a problem in Missouri for a while, but some real direction finally came with a recent court decision that definitely found one of the slot machine manufacturers guilty of illegal gambling.  Since then however, the enforcement of crackdown on other facilities across the state hasn’t picked up.  The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports:

In the wake of a recent ruling that a Kansas-based company’s unregulated slot machine-style games were illegal, Missouri officials are now divided on how to move forward with policing roughly 14,000 similar devices deployed at gas stations and bars across the state.

The Post-Dispatch obtained a draft letter from state liquor regulators to licensees informing them of the Sept. 22 ruling by a Platte County Circuit Court judge, but emphasizing the judgment was “not final at this time” while the company, Shawnee Kansas-based Integrity Vending LLC, appealed.

Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, said the letter was “probably not strong enough.” He said he wanted the state to give businesses time to unplug the games before facing suspension or revocation of their liquor licenses, but said he understood officials’ caution, given that appeals are possible.

There has been an initial reluctance to move forward with prosecution or the pulling of liquor licenses as of now.  Moreover, internal money and resources set aside for such activities haven’t been disseminated as initially allocated. The St Louis Post Dispatch explains:

Because the games are unregulated, there are no consumer protections to prevent low payouts, no money directed to public education and no resources available for addicted gamblers.

Schatz’s desire for the state Department of Public Safety to start pulling liquor licenses from noncompliant gas stations and bars would mark an escalation in the state’s efforts to police the games. This year, the Missouri Highway Patrol, operating under the Department of Public Safety, had as of Oct. 6 forwarded 72 probable cause affidavits to local prosecutors for illegal gambling charges, an agency spokesman said in an email. But most prosecutors, at least before the Platte County ruling, had been reluctant to file charges. 

Senate Budget Chairman Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby, included $150,000 in this year’s budget for investigations of the devices. The money was earmarked for the attorney general’s office, which enforces consumer protection laws. Gov. Mike Parson withheld the money this summer amid lagging revenue projections, temporarily stopping any action. With a more favorable budget forecast, his administration released the funds this month, but Attorney General Eric Schmitt is still reluctant to spend the money.

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A Brief Look at Crime 10/26 – 11/01

COVID-19 benefit payments spent on poker machines as gambling hits record high in Queensland

Gambling on poker machines has hit a record high in Queensland since venues reopened, with data from the Office of Liquor and Gaming showing almost $293 million spent in July and similar amounts in every month since. That’s compared to $161 million spent statewide in February before the machines were turned off. In some regional areas gambling has doubled, including Mount Isa where $4.5 million was spent in July, compared with $2 million in February. Cairns saw $17 million put through the machines in July, compared with $8 million in February. Players in Goondiwindi spent $810,000, compared with $366,000 for the same periods. The Alliance For Gambling Reform had urged the State Government to keep poker machines switched off, arguing the forced hiatus created a unique opportunity for industry, economic and social reform. But on July 10, more than 45,000 approved electronic gaming machines (EGMs) lit up again across the state. CQ University Professor Matthew Rockloff has studied gambling habits during COVID-19 and said the four-month break had not stopped people’s propensity to gamble. “People haven’t taken strong advantage in this break in play,” Dr Rockloff said. “It is disappointing to see that people are coming back to the machines in such numbers that suggests people are spending too much.”

Florida man charged with scamming investors out of $6.8M in crypto trading scheme

A Florida businessman has been charged with scamming investors through a $6.8 million digital asset trading scheme, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Tuesday. According to the court complaint filed in federal court in Miami, Thomas J. Gity allegedly received funding from at least 18 investors by pretending to be a “high-profitable asset trader who never lost money during a trading day.” Gity was accused of providing fake account statements to investors to trick them into thinking he was managing as much as $100 million in assets. Per the complaint, Gity told investors he would use their funding to trade digital assets, but only transferred $970,000 of the $6.8 million he received into trading accounts. Gity allegedly transferred over $1.8 million of the funds to his son and for personal expenses and gambling.

Mum stole £100,000 from her Truro employer to feed online gambling habit 

A mother of three has been jailed after stealing £100,000 from her former employer to feed her spiralling gambling addiction. Pennell, who has since moved to Wolverhampton, appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentence having pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud. Prosecuting the case, Adrian Chaplin told the court how Pennell was employed in a position of trust with nobody to oversee her, and stole £100,988 from her employer. The fraud started within four months of her employment when she was given access to bank accounts and authorised to make payments. She was paid a basic wage of £20,000 but Mr Chaplin described how her crime saw her take home effectively double that each month.

Offshore Internet Sports Betting Company Agrees to Forfeit Over $46.8 Million in Proceeds to Resolve Criminal Investigation

5Dimes was previously owned and operated by Varela’s husband, William Sean Creighton, a U.S. citizen who moved to Costa Rica, where he created and operated 5Dimes in violation of U.S. law. From at least 2011 until approximately September 24, 2018, Creighton exercised full and exclusive control over 5Dimes, although he hid his control over the company by utilizing an alias and operating the business through several shell companies. In September 2018, Creighton was kidnapped and subsequently murdered. Over a year later, Creighton’s remains were discovered and positively identified in Costa Rica; Creighton’s death has been ruled a homicide by Costa Rican authorities.

Beginning in approximately May 2016, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), began investigating Creighton and 5Dimes for possible violations of federal criminal laws including, but not limited to, illegal gambling, money laundering, wire fraud, and other related offenses. During Creighton’s lifetime, Varela, a Costa Rican citizen, was never employed as a manager at 5Dimes, nor did she exercise any control over the operations of 5Dimes. Following Creighton’s death, Varela assumed responsibility for 5Dimes assets, but did not exercise day-to-day authority over the operations of 5Dimes. Varela subsequently took control of 5Dimes and sought to resolve the federal investigation and change the operations of the company in a manner that complies with U.S. law. In order to resolve the federal investigation of 5Dimes (which continued after Creighton’s kidnapping), Varela and 5Dimes have entered into a settlement agreement with the EDPA in which they have agreed to forfeit more than $46.8 million and acknowledged that those funds are the proceeds of various unlawful gambling-related offenses.

Security guards shoot, kill armed suspect at Las Vegas resort

An armed man who fired his gun was shot and killed by security officers at a south Las Vegas Boulevard resort Sunday evening, according to Metro Police. Before the guards opened fire, the unidentified suspect had fired his gun near the valet area, and pointed the weapon at them multiple times, Lt. Ray Spencer said. The shooting occurred about 4:30 p.m. at the South Point, 9777 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Spencer said. The suspect, who was described as a white man who appeared to be homeless, walked into the property about an hour before the shooting, Spencer said. As he left the property, the man pulled out a gun, prompting security to respond, Spencer said. The man left through the valet area, walked a short distance, and shot the gun into the air, Spencer said. The guards engaged him as he tinkered with the gun, which he then aimed at them, Spencer said. They didn’t immediately fire because their backdrop was the valet area, he added, praising their restraint. They then repositioned themselves, and when the man pointed the gun again, they opened fire, striking him multiple times, Spencer said. The entire incident was captured on clear surveillance images, Spencer said.

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