A Brief Look at Crime 10/11 – 10/17

South Point Casino Lot Sees Woman’s Body Discovered, Las Vegas Cops Investigating

Investigators continue to look into the circumstances surrounding a woman’s body discovered at a parking lot at Las Vegas’ South Point Hotel Casino & Spa. The lifeless body was discovered midday Tuesday. As of Wednesday, Metro police had not yet identified the cause of death. The unnamed dead woman was found shortly before 11 am, KLAS, a local TV station, reported. Metro detectives were searching the lot for evidence on Tuesday. 

In the past year, South Point Casino was the scene of other unrelated crimes. Last October, South Point Hotel Casino was the scene of a fatal shooting, as security officers shot an armed man. The man had fired a gun in the air and refused to drop the firearm outside of the gaming property, the Review-Journal reported. The unidentified man had fired a shot near the casino’s valet area, according to the report. He also had entered and exited the casino. He kept brandishing a handgun and then pointed it at two security guards outside of the building, the Review-Journal said. He allegedly refused to drop the weapon during the stand-off with security officers. The officers then fatally wounded the man.

Warrants served on 4 Fayette Co. businesses for alleged illegal gambling 

Gaming agents from the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC), along with personnel from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, served search warrants Wednesday on four businesses in Fayette County associated with illegal gambling. OCCC agents launched an investigation after receiving complaints the businesses were paying out cash prizes and operating illegal gaming machines in violation of Ohio law. “The operators of these illegal casinos took advantage of their community to line their own pockets in blatant disregard of the law,” said Matthew Schuler, executive director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission. “The Commission is tasked with ensuring gaming in Ohio is conducted honestly and with integrity, and we will continue to take action against those who violate Ohio’s gaming laws.” “We appreciate the assistance of the Ohio Casino Control Commission in shutting down these illegal establishments, which prey on vulnerable Ohioans,” said Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth.

California councilman faces illegal gambling, EDD fraud and tax evasion charges after arraignment

Lodi city councilman Shakir Khan is facing accusations of illegal gambling, EDD fraud, tax evasion and money laundering. He was arraigned in court Tuesday afternoon. Khan wasn’t alone during the arraignment. Prosecutors said he was arraigned in conjunction with co-defendant Zakir Khan, and said that Mohammed Khan, another co-defendant, will be arraigned on Oct. 26. The defendants allegedly had an illegal gambling operation out of two Stockton businesses and laundered the profits, according the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office. The Lodi councilman was also accused of illegally receiving money from the state during the state’s pandemic relief efforts. “Cases involving money laundering, fraud, and tax evasion are very complex and require an inordinate amount of resources to prove,” said District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar in a news release. “Integrity matters, the truth matters, and our office prosecutes those who prey on and take advantage of marginalized communities.”

After poker ‘disaster,’ watchdog suggests stripping Va. Charitable Gaming Board of some powers 

A new report from Virginia’s watchdog agency suggests limiting the Virginia Charitable Gaming Board’s regulatory powers after concluding the board’s chairman failed to properly recuse himself from writing rules for Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournaments he stood to benefit from. The 59-page report, delivered to legislators and Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration Wednesday, identified major problems with the state’s failed effort to legalize and regulate charitable poker. The regulations written by the industry board, the report said, “damage the integrity of the charitable gaming program” by explicitly allowing conflicts of interest and minimizing the involvement of charities.

“This appears to provide for the creation of poker halls in Virginia,” the Office of the Inspector General (OSIG) wrote, adding the “low level of involvement required by the charity” could make it difficult for regulators to track where poker profits are going. Chuck Lessin, a homebuilder now operating his own poker room at his Richmond sports bar and bingo hall, played a key role in the development of those regulations as chairman of the Charitable Gaming Board. He disclosed his personal interest in the outcome, but state investigators say that wasn’t enough and he should’ve recused himself entirely. “Board members not properly recusing themselves in accordance to both the code and their approved bylaws damages the integrity of the board and the overall commonwealth’s charitable gaming oversight,” the agency wrote.

Tesuque Casino remains closed after cyberattack (NM)

It was unclear Friday when the 3-year-old casino, next to the Santa Fe Opera off U.S. 84/284, will reopen. Upon discovering the cyberattack, the casino took steps to remediate the damage, the pueblo reported in the news release. “These steps included the isolation of affected systems and deploying of actions to resolve the issues,” the release states. “Tesuque Casino has also initiated a comprehensive investigation into the incident. The findings will serve to further strengthen the casino’s cyber security defenses.” “Through our fast-acting team and external IT specialists, we were able to contain and remedy the issue as swiftly as possible,” Tesuque Gov. Mark Mitchell said in the release. “We are continuing to be vigilant about security and protection of confidential information for our customers and employees.” Casino officials were not available for comment about potential compromise of customer information.

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

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