Welfare recipients have actually allegedly been gambling on another person’s buck in Florida by utilizing 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 involved with a gambling that is illegal fraud scheme. Four local residents in Leon County are arrested on charges of racketeering, cash laundering, welfare card fraud, and illegal gambling.
Leon County Sheriff Mike Wood states 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, had been apprehended by Leon County, aided by the first three accused of being the ringleaders of the enterprise that is multi-venue.
According 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 was the employer of the operation, as he owns a number of the organizations involved in the ring. Leon County described the illegal gambling machines to be just like slots, in that players simply deposited cash, hit a button, and won or lost.
A complete of 24 machines were apprehended from the Sheriff’s Office raids that took place in after obtaining search warrants july.
Issued by the Florida Department of Children and Families, EBT cards cannot be used purchasing beverages that are alcoholic nor can the funds be spent 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 providing money in exchange for typical essential family members supplies. He allegedly offered Costco and Sam’s Club shopping lists to EBT cardholders, and when the welfare recipients returned because of the items, they were paid by him 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 video gaming machines.
Detectives estimate the EBT operation taken in upwards of $1,000 a day. January Financial records show Gizaw-Tessema deposited a total of $1.4 million to four bank accounts dating back to.
The story out of Tallahassee is certainly not the first-time EBT monies have been used to gamble.
A 2010 audit in Ca revealed that $1.8 million in welfare funds were spent at casinos. Plus in Seattle, a news that is local investigation in 2013 discovered 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 video gaming establishment.’ However, the federal legislation doesn’t clearly mandate that states follow the principles.
Most state lawmakers have obliged.
Only two states, Minnesota and Texas, lack any regulations EBT that is preventing money getting used for gambling. Minnesota does ban EBT cards from alcohol and tobacco purchases, while Texas doesn’t have regulations on how an individual’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 in the media, with experts calling the sport’s integrity into question.
Irregular patterns that are betting 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 Photos)
On August 30, 15th-ranked Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland beat Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko in straight sets. But after a 6-1, 6-1 match, tennis’ governing human body was asked to probe the contest.
The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), formed in 2008 by the leading tennis organizations around the globe, is investigating whether incorrect agreements were made prior to Bacsinszky and Diatchenko’s match.
Russian online bookmaker Fonbet had been reportedly the first to inform tennis over suspicious gambling patterns. Bet365 filed grievances that are similar said it had been forced to suspend betting regarding the match.
‘ As with every cases, the TIU will assess, create a judgment and take appropriate action on 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 declaration. ‘ Every alert received is followed and assessed up as an indicator that something inappropriate may have occurred. It is essential to understand that an alert by itself is not proof of match-fixing.’
Integrity Device Win
Corruption has unfortunately beleaguered the sport of tennis for a long time, however the 2016 US open match-fixing scandal could have long-term good impact. That’s because the match in question appears to go against all conventional 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 exactly what she was expected to do. Bacsinszky won is sets that are straight but regardless, the betting houses detected irregularities.
Bacsinszky won a silver medal in increases at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, while Diatchenko is ranked 677th in the world.
Bacsinszky was a -425 favorite at Bovada, meaning one will have to bet $425 to win $100. But in tennis, as could be the situation with specific other sports, in-play betting has grown in popularity overseas.
Numerous part wagers are offered on tennis including set scores, total matches in a game, very first to win a group, total sets, and more.
Numerous believe tennis match-fixing corruption largely occurs during lower-level matches where much less numerous eyes are watching. However, fewer bets are typically placed on non-marquee games, rendering it that more challenging to conceal fraudulent activity.
Sports Betting Prefer
The TIU has had a busy 2016. In the very first quarter alone, the agency was notified 48 times over dubious betting patterns.
The most notable tennis name to be engulfed in sports wagering is present number 1 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 match that is first-round.
At the Australian Open, betting had been suspended on a blended doubles match, but the TIU later on said it discovered no evidence of match-fixing.
A 2007 game between Martin Arguello and Nikolay Davydenko brought tennis match-fixing to your 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 Gambling Enterprises
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, has been banned from entering the state’s 12 casinos. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) voted unanimously this to designate ‘Skinny Joey’ persona non grata, after an altercation at the Sugarhouse Casino in March week.
That, and the fact that he had been arrested in very early August along with 46 mob that is alleged, soldiers and capos, and accused to be one of the ringleaders of an unlawful kingdom known as the East Coast La Cosa Nostra Enterprise.
Skinny Joey and his associates were charged, variously, with illegal gambling, extortion, gun-running, fraud, good antique racketeering, along with other crimes. He’s currently out on $5 million bail as he awaits trial.
The PGCB stated that it began its investigation following an incident at the Sugarhouse blackjack tables when Merlino and his entourage fell as a disagreement with many players.
According to 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 certainly 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 tried to serve him at his restaurant, his home, at Harrah’s, at SugarHouse,’ stated board spokesman Doug Harbach. ‘It’s a permanent ban he must be taken from record. unless he petitions the board to be removed and provides the board with ample reason why’
The arrests last month came as the consequence of a joint research between your FBI and ny’s arranged crime task force and is thought to have spanned many years and involved infiltration by the undercover FBI agent into the ranks of the organization.
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’s been a year that is rough David Baazov. The former boy that is golden chief executive officer of Canada’s Amaya Inc., had been charged by Quebec’s economic regulatory arm, the AMF, of insider trading. Although he has denied all of the charges vehemently, he first took a short-term leave, after which finally stepped down, from his professional duties at the gaming company.
David Baazov denies the fees he profited from a classy insider trading scheme by getting 10 % kickbacks for dripping information that is privileged. (Image: YouTube.com)
Nevertheless now, a new bombshell has been lobbied at 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 ended up being the head of an insider trading ‘pyramid’ and took kickbacks for leaking information that is privileged a ‘sophisticated community.’
The network, the AMF contends, contains his brother, some continuing business acquaintances, and other relatives and buddies members.
Baazov engineered one probably 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 primary online gambling players on the planet.
Now he faces new allegations, presented this week in documents, which would be the outcome of a continued investigation by the AMF on the spring and summer. The regulator alleges that Baazov had been the main supply of leaked information that had been disseminated through their brother, Josh Baazov, and their associate, Craig Levett, a former amaya consultant.
Ten Percentage Kickbacks
It also alleges why these three took kickbacks for their services, typically amounting to 10 percent of all profits gained, and that included ‘luxury items’ presented as gifts, including a Rolex watch well worth $13,000. The AMF alleges that the terms were ‘negotiated before the offenses,’ and that the combined team showed a ‘high amount of company and elegance’ in its operations.
The regulator says the combined team, consisting of 13 people, made around $1.5 million in profit from trading stocks ahead of at least six takeover deals, going back to Amaya’s acquisition of Cryptologic this year.
Amaya has had a committed m&a strategy in the last six years, acquiring Chartwell, Ongame, Cadillac Jack, and Diamond Game Enterprises, along with Cryptologic and the Oldford Group, which owned PokerStars. Two acquisitions under scrutiny had been unrelated to Amaya: Scientific Games’ purchase of WMS and Intertain’s acquisition Gamesys’ major assets.
In line with the AMF, members for the group were still attempting to make money from Baazov’s bid to acquire Amaya and take it private, a move which was announced in January this season, very long after the AMF investigation had been launched.
‘Mr. Baazov has been categorical: he would not 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 attorney formerly filed a notice contesting the brand new allegations. While retired CEO has resigned forever from his administrator positions within the ongoing business, he remains its majority shareholder.