Welfare recipients have allegedly been gambling on someone else’s buck in Florida by making use of 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 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 with a illegal gambling and fraud scheme. Four local residents in Leon County have now been arrested on charges of racketeering, cash laundering, welfare card fraudulence, and illegal gambling.
Leon County Sheriff Mike Wood states 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, because of the first three accused of being the ringleaders of the multi-venue enterprise.
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
Legislation enforcement believes Gizaw-Tessema ended up being the employer associated with the operation, as he owns several of the companies included in the band. 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.
An overall total of 24 machines were apprehended from the Sheriff’s Office raids that occurred in July after obtaining search warrants.
Issued by the Florida Department of Children and Families, EBT cards cannot be utilized to acquire 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 nifty solution to the EBT regulations by offering cash in trade for typical crucial family supplies. He allegedly provided Costco and Sam’s Club shopping lists to EBT cardholders, and when the welfare recipients returned with all the items, they were paid by him 50 cents on the dollar for the items.
With cash in hand, many ‘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 undoubtedly not the very first time EBT monies have been used to gamble.
A 2010 review in California revealed that $1.8 million in welfare funds were spent at gambling enterprises. As well as in Seattle, a news that is local investigation in 2013 discovered 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 law that is federaln’t clearly mandate that states follow the rules.
Most state lawmakers have obliged.
Only two states, Minnesota and Texas, do not have any regulations EBT that is preventing money being used for gambling. Minnesota does ban EBT cards from tobacco and alcohol purchases, while Texas doesn’t have regulations on how one’s welfare money is spent.
US Open Match-Fixing Scandal Once Again Plagues Tennis
The usa Open match-fixing scandal in New York has once again place the sport front and center into the media, with experts calling the sport’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 Photos)
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 human anatomy was asked to probe the contest.
The Tennis Integrity product (TIU), formed in 2008 by the tennis that is leading around the world, is investigating whether improper agreements had been made prior to Bacsinszky and Diatchenko’s match.
Russian online bookmaker Fonbet was reportedly the first to alert tennis over suspicious patterns that are betting. Bet365 filed grievances that are similar said it had been forced to suspend betting on the match.
‘ As with every cases, the TIU will assess, create a judgment and take appropriate action on 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 followed and assessed up as an indicator that something inappropriate could have occurred. It is essential to appreciate that an alert by itself just isn’t proof of match-fixing.’
Integrity Device Win
Corruption has unfortunately beleaguered the sport of tennis for years, nevertheless the 2016 US open match-fixing scandal could have long-term impact that is positive. That’s because the match in concern appears to go against all traditional wisdom that is match-fixing.
In the place of an unranked or opponent that is lower-seeded off an upset at insurmountable odds, Bacsinszky, the 16th-ranked player in the world, did exactly what she ended up being 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 ranked 677th in the world.
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 instance with certain 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 collection, total sets, and more.
Many believe tennis match-fixing corruption mostly occurs during lower-level matches where not as numerous eyes are watching. However, fewer bets are also typically placed on non-marquee games, making it that more challenging to conceal fraudulent activity.
Sports Betting Like
The TIU has had a busy 2016. In the quarter that is first, the agency was notified 48 times over suspicious wagering patterns.
The most notable tennis name to be engulfed in sports betting 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 match that is first-round.
During the Open that is australian was suspended on a blended doubles match, however the TIU later on 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, rated 87th worldwide during 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 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 fact that he was arrested in very early August along with 46 so-called mob associates, soldiers and capos, and accused to be among the ringleaders of a criminal kingdom referred to as East Coast La Cosa Nostra Enterprise.
Skinny Joey and his associates have already been charged, variously, with illegal gambling, extortion, gun-running, fraud, good old-fashioned racketeering, and 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 during the Sugarhouse blackjack tables when Merlino and his entourage dropped right into a disagreement with some other players.
In accordance with documents seen by Fox News, things got heated and several punches were thrown before security broke up the battle. Merlino apparently then shook hands with one of the group that is opposing left.
When he returned to the same casino the following month, he was met by PGCB agents whom attempted to serve him with an exclusion order, but he brushed them myfreepokies.com off and moved 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 his restaurant, his house, at Harrah’s, at SugarHouse,’ said board spokesman Doug Harbach. ‘It’s a permanent ban he should really be removed from record. unless he petitions the board to be removed and supplies the board with ample reason why’
The arrests month that is last as the results of a joint research involving the FBI and New York’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 organization.
Investigators say they have collected a large number 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 costs within 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 boy and chief executive officer of Canada’s Amaya Inc., was charged by Quebec’s financial 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 which he profited from an advanced insider trading scheme by receiving 10 % kickbacks for dripping information that is privileged. (Image: YouTube.com)
Nevertheless now, a bombshell that is new been lobbied during the ex-leader: that of taking kickbacks in exchange for information, as outlined by the AMF. According to court documents filed by the regulator, Baazov was the head of an insider trading ‘pyramid’ and took kickbacks for dripping information that is privileged a ‘sophisticated system.’
The network, the AMF contends, contained his brother, some continuing company acquaintances, along with other family and friends members.
Baazov engineered one the absolute most audacious takeovers in gambling history, the $4.9 billion acquisition of PokerStars by Amaya. But he formally resigned final month as CEO and chairman of the company he transformed into one of the primary online gambling players in the world.
Now he faces new allegations, presented this week in court papers, which will be the result of an investigation that is continued the AMF within the spring and summer. The regulator alleges that Baazov had been the main source of leaked information that had been disseminated through his cousin, Josh Baazov, and their associate, Craig Levett, a former amaya consultant.
Ten Percentage Kickbacks
It also alleges that these three took kickbacks due to their services, typically amounting to 10 percent of all 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 team revealed a ‘high level of company and sophistication’ in its operations.
The regulator says the group, consisting of 13 people, made around $1.5 million in make money from trading stocks prior to at least six takeover deals, returning to Amaya’s purchase of Cryptologic this season.
Amaya has had a committed m&a strategy within the last six years, acquiring Chartwell, Ongame, Cadillac Jack, and Diamond Game Enterprises, as well as Cryptologic as well as 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 of this group were still attempting to make money from Baazov’s bid to get Amaya and take it personal, a move that was announced in January this season, long after the AMF research had been launched.
‘Mr. Baazov has been categorical: he failed to 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 eager to present his defense,’ Robertson added.
On Wednesday, Baazov’s lawyer previously filed a notice contesting the allegations that are new. While retired CEO has resigned completely from their executive positions in the ongoing company, he continues to be its majority shareholder.