Welfare recipients have allegedly been gambling on somebody else’s dollar in Florida using EBT cards at underground gaming facilities.
Welfare recipients in Tallahassee, Florida, have purportedly been employing their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards to buy, among other things, alcohol and tobacco, and also 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 illegal gambling and fraud scheme. Four local residents in Leon County were arrested on charges of racketeering, money laundering, welfare card fraud, and gambling that is illegal.
Leon County Sheriff Mike Wood says the operation netted the ringleaders hundreds of 1000s 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, utilizing the first three accused of being the ringleaders of the multi-venue enterprise.
According up to a pr 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 was the boss associated with procedure, as he owns many of the businesses involved in the ring. Leon County described the gambling that is illegal as being just like slots, in that players simply deposited cash, hit a button, and won or lost.
An overall total 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 properly used purchasing alcoholic beverages, 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 offering money in trade for typical crucial family members supplies. He allegedly provided Costco and Sam’s Club shopping lists to EBT cardholders, and when the welfare recipients returned using the items, he paid them 50 cents regarding the dollar for the goods.
With cash in hand, many ‘customers’ are suspected of trying to recoup their losses on Gizaw-Tessema’s gaming machines.
Detectives estimate the EBT operation taken in upwards of $1,000 a day. Financial records show Gizaw-Tessema deposited a complete of $1.4 million to four bank records dating straight back to January.
The story out of Tallahassee is definitely maybe 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 were spent at gambling enterprises. 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 welfare that is issuing to ‘maintain policies and practices’ that prevent wasteful spending by recipients in ‘any liquor store, any casino, gambling casino, or gaming establishment.’ However, the law that is federaln’t explicitly mandate that states follow the principles.
Most state lawmakers have obliged.
Only two states, Minnesota and Texas, would 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 does not have any regulations on how an individual’s welfare cash is spent.
US Open Match-Fixing Scandal Once Again Plagues Tennis
The US Open match-fixing scandal in New York has once again put the sport front and center into 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 Images)
On August 30, 15th-ranked Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland beat Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko in right sets. But after 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 leading tennis organizations across the world, is investigating whether incorrect agreements were made prior to Bacsinszky and Diatchenko’s match.
Russian online bookmaker Fonbet was apparently the first ever to alert tennis over suspicious wagering patterns. 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 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 statement. ‘ Every alert received is followed and assessed up as an indicator that something inappropriate may have happened. It is crucial to appreciate that the alert on its own just isn’t proof of match-fixing.’
Integrity Unit Win
Corruption has unfortunately beleaguered the sport of tennis for years, but the 2016 US open match-fixing scandal could have a long-term impact that is positive. That’s because the match in question 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 chances, Bacsinszky, the 16th-ranked player in the world, did exactly what she was likely 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 in the world.
Bacsinszky was a -425 favorite at Bovada, meaning one will have to bet $425 to win $100. However in tennis, since may be the situation with certain other activities, in-play wagering has grown 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.
Many believe tennis match-fixing corruption mainly occurs during lower-level matches where not as numerous eyes are watching. However, fewer bets may also be typically placed on non-marquee games, which makes it that more challenging to conceal fraudulent task.
Sports Betting Love
The TIU has had a busy 2016. In the quarter that is first, the agency had been 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 match that is first-round.
At the Australian Open, gambling ended up being suspended on a blended doubles match, but the TIU later on stated it found no evidence of match-fixing.
A 2007 game between Martin Arguello and dolphin treasure slot jugar gratis Nikolay Davydenko brought tennis match-fixing towards the limelight. Arguello, rated 87th on earth at the time, won the match whenever fourth-ranked Davydenko withdrew citing 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 man who the FBI believes become the 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 very early August along with 46 mob that is alleged, soldiers and capos, and accused of being among the ringleaders of an unlawful empire referred to as East Coast La Cosa Nostra Enterprise.
Skinny Joey and their associates were 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 it began its investigation following an incident during the Sugarhouse blackjack tables when Merlino and his entourage fell into a disagreement with several other players.
In accordance with documents seen by Fox Information, things got heated and punches that are several thrown before security broke up the battle. Merlino reportedly then shook hands with certainly one of the opposing group and left.
When he returned towards the same casino the following month, he had been met by PGCB agents whom attempted to serve him with an exclusion order, but he brushed them off and moved out.
Agents again attempted to serve him the order as he appeared at Harrahs Casino in Chester, and were again waved away by the reputed gangster.
‘We tried to serve him at their restaurant, his house, at Harrah’s, at SugarHouse,’ stated board spokesman Doug Harbach. ‘It’s a permanent ban he is 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 result of a joint investigation between the FBI and New York’s arranged crime task force and is believed to possess spanned many years and involved infiltration by the undercover FBI agent into the ranks associated with company.
Investigators say they have actually 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 charges within 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 is been a rough 12 months for 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. 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 an enhanced insider trading scheme by receiving 10 percent kickbacks for leaking information that is privileged. (Image: YouTube.com)
However now, a new bombshell has been lobbied during the ex-leader: that of taking kickbacks in return for information, as outlined 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 dripping privileged information to a ‘sophisticated network.’
The network, the AMF contends, consisted of his brother, some continuing company acquaintances, and other family and friends members.
Baazov engineered one the most audacious takeovers in gambling history, the $4.9 billion purchase 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 earth.
Now he faces new allegations, presented this week in court papers, which will be the result of a continued investigation by the AMF throughout the spring and summer. The regulator alleges that Baazov had been the main supply of leaked information that ended up being disseminated through their cousin, Josh Baazov, and their associate, Craig Levett, a former amaya consultant.
Ten Percentage Kickbacks
It also alleges that these three took kickbacks for his or her services, typically amounting to ten percent of all of the 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 group revealed a ‘high amount of company and elegance’ in its operations.
The regulator says the combined group, consisting of 13 people, made around $1.5 million in make money from trading stocks ahead of at least six takeover deals, heading back to Amaya’s purchase of Cryptologic this season.
Amaya has had a ambitious m&a strategy over the past six years, acquiring Chartwell, Ongame, Cadillac Jack, and Diamond Game Enterprises, as well as Cryptologic plus the Oldford Group, which owned PokerStars. Two acquisitions under scrutiny were unrelated to Amaya: Scientific Games’ purchase of WMS and Intertain’s acquisition Gamesys’ major assets.
In line with the AMF, members associated with group were still attempting to benefit from Baazov’s bid to obtain Amaya and take it private, a move which was announced in this year, long after the AMF investigation had been launched january.
‘Mr. Baazov has been categorical: he did not receive such a thing,’ their 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 formerly filed a notice contesting the brand new allegations. While retired CEO has resigned completely from their administrator positions in the business, he stays its majority shareholder.