A Brief Look at Crime 12/21 – 01/03

North Shore butcher who made $3.7M from illegal gambling

The year Domenic Poeta purchased a $1.5 million home in Highland Park, the feds say he told the IRS he made less than $12,000. That was in 2008. The year before, Poeta allegedly reported $38,975 in income. In 2009, he reported $18,835. But prosecutors say the North Shore butcher’s spending managed to dwarf his reported income because he ran an illegal sports gambling business on the side. Poeta, 63, admitted earlier this year that he made more than $3.7 million from that bookmaking business between 2012 and 2017, dodging $1.4 million in taxes. So Monday, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly sentenced Poeta to a year in federal prison and ordered him to pay the $1.4 million he owes.

Woman sentenced for $287K embezzlement from Warren County employer

A Kettering woman was sentenced Tuesday to four years in prison for embezzlement of $287,887 from her Warren County employer. Judge Robert Peeler sentenced Alison McGaughey, 40, for telecommunications fraud and identity fraud during a hearing in Warren County Common Pleas Court. Peeler also ordered restitution of more than $37,000 to the employer victimized in the case, Nelson & Associates, a low-income housing developer and manager.

In addition, the judge ordered McGaughey to make restitution of more than $122,000 to Great American Insurance, which partially compensated the company for its loss McGaughey was indicted in March on charges of telecommunications fraud, aggravated theft, unauthorized use of property, identity fraud and tampering with records. She was accused of stealing the money to cover gambling debts and pay for vacations and personal items, as well as altering computer records and forging bank statements to cover up the thefts.

‘Tony Meatballs’ among 15 mobsters busted in Philadelphia

A reputed wiseguy nicknamed “Tony Meatballs” is among more than a dirty dozen alleged South Philly  mobsters charged in a sweeping federal indictment unsealed Monday. The suspects are accused of everything from illegal sports betting to heroin-peddling to offering loans at 400 percent interest — not to mention plotting to kidnap and possibly murder a drug dealer to save their reputations after the guy sold them fake narcotics. “The charges unsealed today against these 15 alleged members and associates of the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra show that the mafia remains a criminal presence in our city and beyond,” said Michael Driscoll, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, in a statement. “From loansharking and illegal gambling to drug trafficking and extortion, the mob continues to keep its fingers in many different pots, in its ceaseless quest for illegal profits.

Shooting leads officers to possible gambling den at motel

A 30-year-old man was shot at a motel in the Del Cerro neighborhood Saturday, and officers believe the violence was tied to some kind of illegal gambling operation. The shooting was reported just before 6 a.m. at the Rodeway Inn on Adobe Falls Road, according to Officer Tony Martinez of the San Diego Police Department. Officers arrived and found a man across the street from the motel who had been shot in his stomach and buttocks. The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment, but was expected to survive, according to Martinez. As investigators worked through the scene, they stumbled upon something unexpected: some kind of illegal gambling operation on the second floor of the motel. “Inside one of the rooms, officers found what looked like possible illegal gambling,” San Diego Police Lt. David Bautista explained. Bautista didn’t elaborate on the nature of the set-up, but conversations on a police scanner indicated there were gambling machines of some sort set up in the room.

California Underground Slots Fugitive Pleads Guilty to Illegal Gambling, Money Laundering After Israel Extradition

One of two Israeli brothers behind an illegal slot machine empire that once stretched across Northern California is finally facing justice in the US. Orel Gohar, 30, fled to Israel in 2017 as the net closed in on the operation, dubbed the Gohar Organization by authorities. Gohar was arrested by Israeli police in Tel Aviv in December 2019, where he had been “moving frequently between apartments to evade authorities,  according to court documents. On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California to illegal gambling, money laundering, and failing to appear. *Prosecutors believe the brains behind the operation was Yaniv Gohar, Orel’s brother, who was sentenced to four years in prison in September 2019. Meanwhile, Orel was the point man of the operation, who boasted of personally earning $500k per year from the gambling ring. 

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