Welfare recipients have actually allegedly been gambling on somebody else’s dollar in Florida simply by using EBT cards at underground gaming facilities.
Welfare recipients in Tallahassee, Florida, have purportedly been employing their benefit that is electronic transferEBT) cards to purchase, 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 involved with a gambling that is illegal fraud scheme. Four local residents in Leon County have been arrested on charges of racketeering, money laundering, welfare card fraud, and unlawful gambling.
Leon County Sheriff Mike Wood says the operation netted the ringleaders hundreds of thousands of dollars in ill-gotten gains.
Wondwossen Gizaw-Tessema, 57, Eyerusalem Hiluf, 31, Firehiwot Gebre, 35, and Christabel Ekhosuehi, 29, were apprehended by Leon County, aided by the first three accused of being the ringleaders of the enterprise that is multi-venue.
According up to a pr release, the Wondu Marathon Convenience Store, Euro Fashions Boutique, One Stop university 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 boss associated with the operation, as he owns a number of the continuing businesses involved in the band. Leon County described the illegal gambling machines as being much like slots, in that players simply deposited money, 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 entertainment venues, or pari-mutuel or gambling facilities.
Gizaw-Tessema created a solution that is nifty the EBT regulations by providing money in exchange for typical essential family supplies. He allegedly offered Costco and Sam’s Club shopping lists to EBT cardholders, and when the welfare recipients returned utilizing the items, he paid them 50 cents regarding the dollar for the goods.
With cash in hand, numerous ‘customers’ are suspected of trying to recoup their losses on Gizaw-Tessema’s gaming machines.
Detectives estimate the EBT operation pulled in upwards of $1,000 a day. Financial records show Gizaw-Tessema deposited a total of $1.4 million to four bank reports dating back to January.
The story out of Tallahassee is definitely perhaps not the first-time EBT monies have been used to gamble.
A 2010 review in California unveiled that $1.8 million in welfare funds had been spent at gambling enterprises. And in Seattle, a local news section investigation in 2013 discovered that $2 million of EBT money was 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 video gaming establishment.’ However, the federal legislation doesn’t clearly mandate that states follow the guidelines.
Many state lawmakers have obliged.
Only two states, Minnesota and Texas, don’t have any regulations preventing EBT money from being used for gambling. Minnesota does ban EBT cards from alcohol and tobacco purchases, while Texas doesn’t have regulations on what a person’s welfare money is spent.
US Start Match-Fixing Scandal Once Again Plagues Tennis
The usa Open match-fixing scandal in New York has once put the sport again front and center in the media, with experts calling the sport’s integrity into question.
Irregular betting habits on Vitalia Diatchenko (in yellow) and Timea Bacsinszky’s first-round US Open match have came back tennis match-fixing to the headlines. (Image: Alex Goodlett/Getty Photos)
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 body was asked to probe the contest.
The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), formed in 2008 by the tennis that is leading around the globe, is investigating whether incorrect agreements had been made prior to Bacsinszky and Diatchenko’s match.
Russian online bookmaker Fonbet had been apparently the first to alert tennis over suspicious patterns that are betting. Bet365 filed grievances that are similar said it absolutely was forced to suspend betting on the match.
‘ As with all cases, the TIU will assess, make a judgment and take action that is appropriate the alert information received and obtained for the first round singles match between Vitalia Diatchenko and Timea Bacsinszky played at the US Open,’ the TIU said in a statement. ‘ Every alert received is followed and assessed up as an indicator that something inappropriate could have occurred. Its essential to comprehend that the alert by itself is not evidence of match-fixing.’
Integrity Unit Win
Corruption has unfortunately beleaguered the sport of tennis for years, however the 2016 US open match-fixing scandal could have a long-term good impact. That’s because the match in concern appears to get against all traditional wisdom that is match-fixing.
Rather than an unranked or lower-seeded opponent pulling off an upset at insurmountable chances, Bacsinszky, the 16th-ranked player in the world, did precisely what she was supposed to do. Bacsinszky won is straight sets, but regardless, the betting houses detected irregularities.
Bacsinszky won a silver medal in doubles at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, while Diatchenko is rated 677th on earth.
Bacsinszky ended up being a -425 favorite at Bovada, meaning one would need to bet $425 to win $100. But in tennis, as is the situation with particular other sports, in-play betting has exploded in popularity offshore.
Numerous part bets are offered on tennis including set scores, total matches in a game, first to win a collection, total sets, and more.
Numerous believe tennis match-fixing corruption mostly occurs during lower-level matches where never as numerous eyes are watching. However, fewer bets are typically put on non-marquee games, making it that more challenging to conceal activity that is fraudulent.
Sports Betting Like
The TIU has had a busy 2016. In the very first quarter alone, the agency ended up being notified 48 times over suspicious betting patterns.
The most tennis that is notable to be engulfed in sports wagering is current number one Novak Djokovic. In 2007, the 12-time Grand Slam winner said he was approached by way of a bookie and offered $200,000 to lose a first-round match.
At the Australian Open, wagering ended up being suspended on a mixed doubles match, however the TIU later said it found no proof of match-fixing.
A 2007 game between Martin Arguello and Nikolay Davydenko brought tennis match-fixing towards the limelight. Arguello, ranked 87th worldwide at the time, won the match whenever 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 person who the FBI believes to be the relative mind 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 truth that he was arrested in early August along side 46 alleged mob associates, soldiers and capos, and accused to be among the ringleaders of a criminal empire referred to as East Coast La Cosa Nostra Enterprise.
Skinny Joey and his associates are charged, variously, with illegal gambling, extortion, gun-running, fraud, good racketeering that is old-fashioned and other crimes. He is currently out on $5 million bail as he awaits trial.
The PGCB stated so it began its investigation following an incident at the Sugarhouse blackjack tables when Merlino and his entourage dropped into a disagreement with several other players.
In accordance with documents seen by Fox News, things got heated and punches that are several thrown before security broke up the battle. 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 the order as he showed up at Harrahs Casino in Chester, and were again waved away by the reputed gangster.
‘We tried to serve him at his restaurant, his house, at Harrah’s, at SugarHouse,’ stated board spokesman Doug Harbach. ‘It’s a permanent ban he ought to be taken off the list. unless he petitions the board to be removed and provides the board with ample reason why’
The arrests month that is last as the consequence of a joint investigation between your FBI and nyc’s organized crime task force and is believed to own spanned many years and involved infiltration by the undercover FBI agent into the ranks regarding the organization.
Investigators say they have actually collected 1000s of hours of testimonies gathered 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 costs into the past, but has served prison time for racketeering. He was already barred from all Atlantic City casinos.
Quebec Regulator Accuses Ex-Amaya Chief David Baazov of Taking Kickbacks
It’s been a year that is rough David Baazov. The former golden child and chief executive officer of Canada’s Amaya Inc., had been charged by Quebec’s economic regulatory arm, the AMF, of insider trading. He first took a temporary leave, and then finally stepped down, from his executive duties at the gaming company although he has denied all the charges vehemently.
David Baazov denies the costs he profited from a complicated insider trading scheme by receiving 10 % kickbacks for dripping privileged information. (Image: YouTube.com)
However now, a new bombshell has been lobbied during the ex-leader: that of taking kickbacks in exchange for information, as outlined by the AMF. In accordance with court documents filed by the regulator, Baazov had been the head of an insider trading ‘pyramid’ and took kickbacks for dripping information that is privileged a ‘sophisticated system.’
The network, the AMF contends, contains his brother, some continuing company acquaintances, along with other friends and family members.
Baazov engineered one probably the most audacious takeovers in gambling history, the $4.9 billion purchase of PokerStars by Amaya. But he formally resigned last month as CEO and chairman of the business he transformed into one of the greatest online gambling players in the world.
Now he faces new allegations, presented this week in documents, which would be the results of an investigation that is continued the AMF throughout the spring and summer. The regulator alleges that Baazov was the main supply of leaked information that ended up being disseminated through his brother, Josh Baazov, and their associate, Craig Levett, a former amaya consultant.
Ten Percent Kickbacks
It also alleges that these three took kickbacks with regards to their services, typically amounting to 10 % of most profits gained, and that included ‘luxury items’ presented as gifts, including a Rolex view well worth $13,000. The AMF alleges that the terms had been ‘negotiated before the offenses,’ and that the group showed a ‘high level of company and myfreepokies.com 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 least six takeover deals, returning to Amaya’s acquisition of Cryptologic this year.
Amaya has had a m&a that is ambitious over the past six years, acquiring Chartwell, Ongame, Cadillac Jack, and Diamond Game Enterprises, along with Cryptologic while the Oldford Group, which owned PokerStars. Two acquisitions under scrutiny had been unrelated to Amaya: Scientific Games’ purchase of WMS and Intertain’s purchase Gamesys’ major assets.
According to the AMF, members of this group had been still attempting to profit from Baazov’s bid to acquire Amaya and take it personal, a move that has been announced in this year, long after the AMF investigation had been launched january.
‘Mr. Baazov has been categorical: he did not receive anything,’ his spokesman Ian Robertson told the Financial Post via e-mail. ‘As Mr. Baazov has previously stated, he is innocent of any wrongdoing and desperate to present his defense,’ Robertson added.
On Wednesday, Baazov’s attorney previously filed a notice contesting the allegations that are new. While retired CEO has resigned permanently from his professional positions within the ongoing business, he stays its majority shareholder.