Welfare recipients have actually allegedly been gambling on another person’s buck in Florida by using EBT cards at underground gaming facilities.
Welfare recipients in Tallahassee, Florida, have purportedly been using their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards to buy, among other things, alcohol and tobacco, and in addition used the funds to gamble.
A multi-agency investigation led by the Leon County Sheriff’s Office in Tallahassee has identified 132 suspects taking part in a illegal gambling and fraud scheme. Four local residents in Leon County happen arrested on charges of racketeering, money laundering, welfare card fraudulence, and gambling that is illegal.
Leon County Sheriff Mike Wood says the operation netted the ringleaders hundreds of thousands in ill-gotten gains.
Wondwossen Gizaw-Tessema, 57, Eyerusalem Hiluf, 31, Firehiwot Gebre, 35, and Christabel Ekhosuehi, 29, were apprehended by Leon County, because of the first three accused of being the ringleaders of the multi-venue enterprise.
According to a news release, the Wondu Marathon Convenience Store, Euro Fashions Boutique, One Stop College Market, Pretty Game Boutique, and Belen Mart businesses were all used as gambling enterprises and EBT exchange centers.
Down with EBT
Law enforcement believes Gizaw-Tessema had been the employer for the operation, as he owns several of the organizations included in the ring. Leon County described the illegal gambling machines to be much like slots, for the reason that players simply deposited cash, hit a button, and won or lost.
A complete of 24 devices were apprehended from the Sheriff’s Office raids that took place in July after acquiring search warrants.
Issued by the Florida Department of Children and Families, EBT cards cannot be utilized to purchase beverages that are alcoholic nor can the funds be invested in bars, liquor stores, adult activity venues, or pari-mutuel or gambling facilities.
Gizaw-Tessema created a solution that is nifty the EBT regulations by offering money as a swap for typical crucial household supplies. He allegedly offered Costco and Sam’s Club shopping lists to EBT cardholders, and when the welfare recipients returned with the items, they were paid by him 50 cents regarding the dollar for the products.
With cash in hand, numerous ‘customers’ are suspected of trying to recoup their losses on Gizaw-Tessema’s video gaming machines.
Detectives estimate the EBT operation pulled in upwards of $1,000 a day. Financial records show Gizaw-Tessema deposited a complete of $1.4 million to four bank accounts dating right back to January.
The story out of Tallahassee is definitely not the time that is first monies have been used to gamble.
A 2010 audit in California unveiled that $1.8 million in welfare funds were spent at casinos. And in Seattle, a news that is local investigation in 2013 found that $2 million of EBT money ended up being gambled with at Washington casinos.
Congress encouraged states in 2012 issuing welfare money to ‘maintain policies and practices’ that prevent wasteful spending by recipients in ‘any liquor shop, any casino, gambling casino, or gaming establishment.’ However, the law that is federaln’t explicitly mandate that states follow the principles.
Many state lawmakers have obliged.
Only two states, Minnesota and Texas, lack any regulations EBT that is preventing money being used for gambling. Minnesota does ban EBT cards from alcohol and tobacco purchases, while Texas does not have any regulations on what a person’s welfare cash is spent.
US Open Match-Fixing Scandal Once Again Plagues Tennis
The usa Open match-fixing scandal in nyc has once put the sport again front and center into the media, with experts calling the game’s integrity into question.
Irregular wagering patterns on Vitalia Diatchenko (in yellow) and Timea Bacsinszky’s first-round US Open match have returned tennis match-fixing to the headlines. (Image: Alex Goodlett/Getty Graphics)
On August 30, 15th-ranked Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland beat Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko in straight sets. But after having a 6-1, 6-1 match, tennis’ governing human body was asked to probe the contest.
The Tennis Integrity product (TIU), formed in 2008 by the leading tennis organizations around the world, is investigating whether incorrect agreements had been made prior to Bacsinszky and Diatchenko’s match.
Russian online bookmaker Fonbet ended up being reportedly the first ever to notify tennis over suspicious patterns that are betting. Bet365 filed grievances that are similar said it was forced to suspend betting regarding the match.
‘ As with every cases, the TIU will assess, produce a judgment and take action that is appropriate the alert information gotten and obtained for the first round singles match between Vitalia Diatchenko and Timea Bacsinszky played at the US Open,’ the TIU said in a declaration. ‘ Every alert received is assessed and followed up as an indicator that something inappropriate could have occurred. It’s crucial to understand that the alert by itself just isn’t proof of match-fixing.’
Integrity Device Win
Corruption has unfortunately beleaguered the sport of tennis for a long time, but the 2016 US start match-fixing scandal could have a long-term impact that is positive. That’s because the match in concern appears to go against all conventional wisdom that is match-fixing.
Instead of an unranked or opponent that is lower-seeded off an upset at insurmountable odds, Bacsinszky, the 16th-ranked player in the world, did precisely what she had been designed to do. Bacsinszky won is sets that are straight but regardless, the betting houses detected irregularities.
Bacsinszky won a silver medal in doubles at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, while Diatchenko is ranked 677th on earth.
Bacsinszky ended up being a -425 favorite at Bovada, meaning one would need to bet $425 to win $100. However in tennis, because may be the situation with specific other activities, in-play wagering is continuing to grow in popularity offshore.
Numerous side wagers are offered on tennis including set scores, total matches in a game, very first to win a set, total sets, and more.
Numerous believe tennis match-fixing corruption largely occurs during lower-level matches where not as many eyes are watching. However, fewer bets will also be typically put on non-marquee games, rendering it that more difficult to conceal fraudulent task.
Sports Betting Enjoy
The TIU has had a busy 2016. In the quarter that is first, the agency was notified 48 times over dubious betting patterns.
The most tennis that is notable to be engulfed in sports gambling is current number 1 Novak Djokovic. In 2007, the 12-time Grand Slam winner said he was approached by a bookie and offered $200,000 to lose a first-round match.
During the Australian Open, gambling had been suspended on a mixed doubles match, nevertheless the TIU later said it found no evidence of match-fixing.
A 2007 game between Martin Arguello and Nikolay Davydenko brought tennis match-fixing towards the limelight. Arguello, rated 87th in the world at the time, won the match when Davydenko that is fourth-ranked withdrew an injury.
Alleged Mob Kingpin Joey Merlino Banned from All Pennsylvania Casinos
Ba-da-bing! Joey ‘Skinny Joey’ Merlino banned from Pennsylvania’s 12 casino hotspots. (Image: Miami Herald)
Joey Merlino, the man who the FBI believes become the head of the Philadelphia Mob, is banned from entering the state’s 12 casinos. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) voted unanimously this week to designate ‘Skinny Joey’ persona non grata, after an altercation at the Sugarhouse Casino in March.
That, and the fact that he was arrested in early August along with 46 alleged mob associates, soldiers and capos, and accused of being among the ringleaders of an unlawful empire known as the East Coast La Cosa Nostra Enterprise.
Skinny Joey and his associates have now been charged, variously, with illegal gambling, extortion, gun-running, fraud, good racketeering that is old-fashioned along with other crimes. He could be currently out on $5 million bail as he awaits trial.
The PGCB said that it began its investigation following an incident at the Sugarhouse blackjack tables when Merlino and his entourage dropped right into a disagreement with various other players.
In accordance with documents seen by Fox News, things got heated and punches that are several thrown before protection broke up the fight. Merlino apparently then shook hands with one of the group that is opposing left.
He was met by PGCB agents who attempted to serve him with an exclusion order, but he brushed them off and walked out when he returned to the same casino the following month.
Agents again attempted to serve him your order as he showed up at Harrahs Casino in Chester, and were again waved away by the reputed gangster.
‘We attempted to serve him at his restaurant, his home, at Harrah’s, at SugarHouse,’ said board spokesman Doug Harbach. ‘It’s a permanent ban unless he petitions the board to be eliminated and provides the board with ample explanation why he should be taken from the list.’
The arrests month that is last as the results of a joint research involving the FBI and nyc’s organized crime task force and is thought to own spanned several years and involved infiltration by the undercover FBI agent into the ranks of this company.
Investigators say they have collected tens of thousands of hours of testimonies collected through wiretaps and the cooperation of a witness. The 32-page indictment unsealed last month details incidents of assaults, threats and arson.
Merlino has beaten murder fees in the past, but has served prison time for racketeering. He had been barred from all Atlantic City casinos.
Quebec Regulator Accuses Ex-Amaya Chief David Baazov of Taking Kickbacks
It is been a rough 12 months for David Baazov. The former golden kid and chief executive officer of Canada’s Amaya Inc., ended up being charged by Quebec’s financial regulatory arm, the AMF, of insider trading. Although he has denied all the charges vehemently, he first took a short-term leave, then finally stepped down, from their executive duties at the video gaming company.
David Baazov denies the fees which he profited from an enhanced insider trading scheme by getting 10 percent kickbacks for dripping information that is privileged. (Image: YouTube.com)
But now, a bombshell that is new been lobbied during the ex-leader: that of taking kickbacks in return for information, as reported by the AMF. According to court papers filed by the regulator, Baazov had been the head of an insider trading ‘pyramid’ and took kickbacks for leaking privileged information to a ‘sophisticated network.’
The network, the AMF contends, contains his brother, some continuing company acquaintances, along with other relatives and buddies members.
Baazov engineered one the most audacious takeovers in gambling history, the $4.9 billion acquisition of PokerStars by Amaya. But he formally resigned month that is last CEO and chairman of the business he transformed into one of the greatest online gambling players on the planet.
Now he faces new allegations, presented this week in court documents, which will be the consequence of a continued investigation by the AMF within the spring and summer. The regulator alleges that Baazov was the main source of leaked information that had been disseminated through his bro, Josh Baazov, and their associate, Craig Levett, A amaya that is former consultant.
Ten Percentage Kickbacks
It also alleges why these three took kickbacks with regards to their services, typically amounting to 10 percent of all of the profits gained, and that included ‘luxury items’ presented as gifts, including a Rolex view worth $13,000. The AMF alleges that the terms had been ‘negotiated before the offenses,’ and that the team revealed a ‘high degree of organization and sophistication’ in its operations.
The regulator says the combined group, consisting of 13 people, made around $1.5 million in benefit from trading stocks prior to at minimum six takeover deals, going back to Amaya’s acquisition of Cryptologic in 2010.
Amaya has had a committed m&a strategy in the last six years, acquiring Chartwell, Ongame, Cadillac Jack, and Diamond Game Enterprises, as well as Cryptologic and the Oldford Group, which owned PokerStars. Two purchases under scrutiny were unrelated to Amaya: Scientific Games’ purchase of WMS and Intertain’s purchase Gamesys’ major assets.
In line with the AMF, members associated with group had been still attempting to benefit from Baazov’s bid to acquire Amaya and take it personal, a move which was announced in this year, long after the AMF investigation had been launched january.
‘Mr. Baazov has been categorical: he didn’t receive anything,’ his spokesman Ian Robertson told the Financial Post via email. ‘As Mr. Baazov has previously stated, he is innocent of any wrongdoing and eager to present his defense,’ Robertson added.
On Wednesday, Baazov’s lawyer formerly filed a notice contesting the brand new allegations. While retired CEO has resigned completely from his administrator positions in the business, he continues to be its majority shareholder.