Welfare recipients have allegedly been gambling on someone else’s dollar 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 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 in a unlawful gambling and fraud scheme. Four local residents in Leon County are arrested on charges of racketeering, cash laundering, welfare card fraud, and gambling that is illegal.
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, with the first three accused of being the ringleaders of the enterprise that is multi-venue.
According up to a press 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 ended up being the boss regarding the procedure, as he owns a number of the continuing businesses involved in the ring. Leon County described the illegal gambling machines as being similar to slots, for the reason that players simply deposited money, hit a button, and won or lost.
A complete of 24 machines were apprehended from the Sheriff’s Office raids that took place in July after obtaining search warrants.
Issued by the Florida Department of Children and Families, EBT cards cannot be used purchasing alcoholic beverages, nor can the funds be spent in bars dolphin treasure slots gratis, 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 as a swap for typical important household supplies. He allegedly gave Costco and Sam’s Club shopping lists to EBT cardholders, and when the welfare recipients returned utilizing the items, they were paid by him 50 cents regarding the dollar for the items.
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 truly not the time that is first monies have been used to gamble.
A 2010 review in California unveiled that $1.8 million in welfare funds had been spent at casinos. Plus in Seattle, a local news station investigation in 2013 found that $2 million of EBT money had been gambled with at Washington casinos.
Congress encouraged states in 2012 welfare that is issuing to ‘maintain policies and practices’ that prevent wasteful spending by recipients in ‘any liquor shop, any casino, gambling casino, or gaming establishment.’ However, the federal legislation doesn’t clearly mandate that states follow the principles.
Many state lawmakers have obliged.
Only two states, Minnesota and Texas, do not have any regulations EBT that is preventing money getting used for gambling. Minnesota does ban EBT cards from alcohol and tobacco purchases, while Texas has no regulations on how an individual’s welfare cash is spent.
US Start Match-Fixing Scandal Once Again Plagues Tennis
The US Open match-fixing scandal in nyc has once put the sport again front and center into the media, with critics 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 came back 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 right sets. But after having a 6-1, 6-1 match, tennis’ governing human body was asked to probe the contest.
The Tennis Integrity device (TIU), formed in 2008 by the leading tennis organizations across the globe, is investigating whether incorrect agreements had been made prior to Bacsinszky and Diatchenko’s match.
Russian online bookmaker Fonbet was apparently the first to inform tennis over suspicious patterns that are betting. Bet365 filed grievances that are similar said it was forced to suspend betting in the match.
‘ As with all cases, the TIU will assess, produce 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 might have happened. Its essential to comprehend that the alert by itself is not proof of match-fixing.’
Integrity Device Win
Corruption has unfortunately beleaguered the sport of tennis for a long time, but the 2016 US open match-fixing scandal could have long-term impact that is positive. That’s because the match in question appears to get against all conventional wisdom that is match-fixing.
As opposed to an unranked or lower-seeded opponent pulling off an upset at insurmountable odds, Bacsinszky, the 16th-ranked player in the world, did exactly what she was expected 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 ranked 677th on the planet.
Bacsinszky ended up being a -425 favorite at Bovada, meaning one will have to bet $425 to win $100. However in tennis, as could be the situation with particular other recreations, in-play wagering has exploded 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.
Many believe tennis match-fixing corruption largely occurs during lower-level matches where much less numerous eyes are watching. However, fewer bets are also typically placed on non-marquee games, making it that more difficult to conceal activity that is fraudulent.
Sports Betting Like
The TIU has had a busy 2016. In the quarter that is first, the agency had been notified 48 times over suspicious gambling patterns.
The many tennis that is notable to be engulfed in sports betting 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 first-round match.
At the Australian Open, betting was suspended on a mixed doubles match, nevertheless the TIU later on stated it discovered no proof of match-fixing.
A 2007 game between Martin Arguello and Nikolay Davydenko brought tennis match-fixing to your limelight. Arguello, rated 87th worldwide during 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 man who the FBI believes to be the relative head of the Philadelphia Mob, happens to be 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 was arrested in very early August along side 46 alleged mob associates, soldiers and capos, and accused to be one of many ringleaders of an unlawful empire referred to as East Coast La Cosa Nostra Enterprise.
Skinny Joey and his associates have been charged, variously, with illegal gambling, extortion, gun-running, fraud, good racketeering that is old-fashioned along with other crimes. He’s 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 fell into a disagreement with some other players.
According to documents seen by Fox News, things got heated and punches that are several thrown before security broke up the fight. Merlino apparently then shook hands with one of the group that is opposing left.
When he returned to the same casino the following thirty days, he was met by PGCB agents who attempted to serve him with an exclusion order, but he brushed them off and walked away.
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 their restaurant, his house, at Harrah’s, at SugarHouse,’ said board spokesman Doug Harbach. ‘It’s a permanent ban he should really be taken off the list. unless he petitions the board to be removed and offers the board with ample reason why’
The arrests last month came as the results of a joint research involving the FBI and nyc’s organized crime task force and is believed to have spanned a long period and involved infiltration by an undercover FBI agent into the ranks associated with the organization.
Investigators say they have collected a huge number of hours of testimonies collected through wiretaps and the cooperation of a witness. The indictment that is 32-page 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 has already 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., was charged by Quebec’s monetary 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 charges he profited from a classy insider trading scheme by receiving 10 percent kickbacks for dripping information that is privileged. (Image: YouTube.com)
But now, a new bombshell has been lobbied at the ex-leader: that of taking kickbacks in return for information, as outlined by the AMF. In accordance with court papers 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 network.’
The network, the AMF contends, contained his brother, some continuing business acquaintances, along with other relatives and buddies 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 company he transformed into one of the greatest online gambling players in the world.
Now he faces new allegations, presented this week in court documents, which will be the consequence of an investigation that is continued the AMF over the spring and summer. The regulator alleges that Baazov was the primary source 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 percent of most profits gained, and that included ‘luxury items’ presented as gifts, including a Rolex view worth $13,000. The AMF alleges that the terms were ‘negotiated before the offenses,’ and that the group revealed a ‘high amount of company and sophistication’ in its operations.
The regulator says the combined group, consisting of 13 people, made around $1.5 million in make money from trading stocks just before at minimum six takeover deals, going back to Amaya’s purchase of Cryptologic this season.
Amaya has had a m&a that is ambitious in the last six years, acquiring Chartwell, Ongame, Cadillac Jack, and Diamond Game Enterprises, in addition to Cryptologic while the Oldford Group, which owned PokerStars. Two acquisitions under scrutiny were unrelated to Amaya: Scientific Games’ purchase of WMS and Intertain’s purchase Gamesys’ major assets.
Based on the AMF, members of this group had been still attempting to profit from Baazov’s bid to obtain Amaya and take it private, a move that was announced in January this season, very long after the AMF research had been launched.
‘Mr. Baazov has been categorical: he didn’t receive any such thing,’ his spokesman Ian Robertson told the Financial Post via e-mail. ‘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 previously filed a notice contesting the allegations that are new. While retired CEO has resigned forever from their administrator positions inside the ongoing business, he remains its majority shareholder.