Daily Archives: November 23, 2020

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 Sublimecasino.com, 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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