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 employing their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards to purchase, among other things, alcohol and tobacco, as well as 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 have been 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 a huge selection 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, utilizing the first three accused of being the ringleaders of the multi-venue enterprise.
According up to a press 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
Legislation enforcement believes Gizaw-Tessema ended up being the employer associated with operation, as he owns many of the businesses included in the band. Leon County described the gambling that is illegal to be just like slots, for the reason that players simply deposited money, hit a button, and won or lost.
A total 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 beverages that are alcoholic nor can the funds be invested in bars, liquor stores, adult activity venues, or pari-mutuel or gambling facilities.
Gizaw-Tessema created a nifty solution to the EBT regulations by providing money as a swap for typical essential family supplies. He allegedly gave Costco and Sam’s Club shopping lists to EBT cardholders, and when the welfare recipients returned using the items, he paid them 50 cents on the dollar for the products.
With cash in hand, many ‘customers’ are suspected of trying to recoup their losses on Gizaw-Tessema’s video gaming devices.
Detectives estimate the EBT operation taken in upwards of $1,000 a day. Financial records show Gizaw-Tessema deposited a total of $1.4 million to four bank reports dating right back to January.
The story out of Tallahassee is undoubtedly 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 casinos. As well as in Seattle, a local news section investigation in 2013 found that $2 million of EBT money was 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 rules.
Many state lawmakers have obliged.
Only two states, Minnesota and Texas, don’t have any regulations preventing EBT money from 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 Open Match-Fixing Scandal Once Again Plagues Tennis
The US Open match-fixing scandal in New York has once put the sport again 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 came back tennis match-fixing to the headlines. (Image: Alex Goodlett/Getty Pictures)
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 body was asked to probe the contest.
The Tennis Integrity product (TIU), formed in 2008 by the tennis that is leading round 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 alert tennis over suspicious betting patterns. Bet365 filed grievances that are similar said it was forced to suspend betting on the match.
‘ As with every cases, the TIU will assess, produce 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 statement. ‘ Every alert received is followed and assessed up as an indicator that something inappropriate may have happened. Its essential to understand that the alert by itself just isn’t proof of match-fixing.’
Integrity Device Win
Corruption has unfortunately beleaguered the sport of tennis for years, but the 2016 US start match-fixing scandal could have a long-term good impact. That’s because the match in concern appears to get against all conventional match-fixing wisdom.
In place of an unranked or opponent that is lower-seeded off an upset at insurmountable odds, Bacsinszky, the 16th-ranked player in the globe, did exactly what she was designed to do. Bacsinszky won is straight sets, 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 on the planet.
Bacsinszky was a -425 favorite at Bovada, meaning one will have to bet $425 to win $100. However in tennis, as could be the situation with certain other sports, in-play betting is continuing to grow in popularity offshore.
Numerous side wagers are offered on tennis including set scores, total matches in a game, first to win a set, total sets, and more.
Numerous believe tennis match-fixing corruption mostly occurs during lower-level matches where much less many eyes are watching. However, fewer bets are also typically put on non-marquee games, rendering it that more difficult to conceal fraudulent activity.
Sports Betting Love
The TIU has had a busy 2016. In the first quarter alone, the agency ended up being notified 48 times over dubious gambling patterns.
The many notable tennis name to be engulfed in sports gambling is present number one Novak Djokovic. In 2007, the 12-time Grand Slam winner said he was approached with a bookie and offered $200,000 to lose a match that is first-round.
At the Open that is australian had been suspended on a mixed doubles match, but the TIU later stated it discovered no evidence of match-fixing.
A 2007 game between Martin Arguello and Nikolay Davydenko brought tennis match-fixing to the limelight. Arguello, ranked 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 man who the FBI believes to be the head of the Philadelphia Mob, happens to be prohibited 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 he had been arrested in very early August along side 46 so-called mob associates, soldiers and capos, and accused of being one of many ringleaders of a criminal kingdom known as the 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 as well as other crimes. He is currently out on $5 million bail as he awaits trial.
The PGCB said that it began its investigation following an incident at the Sugarhouse blackjack tables when Merlino and his entourage dropped as a disagreement with many players.
According to documents seen by Fox News, things got heated and several punches were thrown before protection 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 who 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 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,’ said board spokesman Doug Harbach. ‘It’s a permanent ban he should really be taken from record. unless he petitions the board to be removed and supplies the board with ample reason why’
The arrests last month came as the consequence of a joint investigation involving the FBI and ny’s arranged crime task force and is thought to possess spanned many years and involved infiltration by an undercover FBI agent into the ranks regarding the organization.
Investigators say they have collected a huge number of hours of testimonies gathered 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 fees into 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 year that is rough David Baazov. The former boy that is golden primary executive officer of Canada’s Amaya Inc., was charged by Quebec’s economic regulatory arm, the AMF, of insider trading. Although he has denied most of the charges vehemently, he first took a temporary leave, and then finally stepped down, from his administrator duties dolphin treasure slot download at the video gaming company.
David Baazov denies the fees that he profited from a classy insider trading scheme by receiving ten percent kickbacks for leaking privileged information. (Image: YouTube.com)
Nevertheless 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 papers filed by the regulator, Baazov had been the head of an insider trading ‘pyramid’ and took kickbacks for dripping privileged information to a ‘sophisticated community.’
The network, the AMF contends, consisted of his brother, some company acquaintances, and other relatives and buddies members.
Baazov engineered one the most takeovers that are audacious 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 greatest online gambling players on the planet.
Now he faces new allegations, presented this week in documents, which will be the outcome of an investigation that is continued the AMF within the spring and summer. The regulator alleges that Baazov was the primary supply of leaked information that ended up being disseminated through their cousin, Josh Baazov, and their associate, Craig Levett, A amaya that is former consultant.
Ten Percentage Kickbacks
It also alleges why these three took kickbacks due to their services, typically amounting to 10 % 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 showed a ‘high level of company and sophistication’ in its operations.
The regulator says the team, consisting of 13 people, made around $1.5 million in profit from trading stocks just before at minimum six takeover deals, returning to Amaya’s acquisition of Cryptologic this year.
Amaya has had a m&a that is ambitious within the last six years, acquiring Chartwell, Ongame, Cadillac Jack, and Diamond Game Enterprises, in addition to Cryptologic and 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.
Based on the AMF, members regarding the group were still attempting to make money from Baazov’s bid to acquire Amaya and take it private, a move that has been announced in January in 2010, long following the AMF investigation had been launched.
‘Mr. Baazov has been categorical: he didn’t receive such a 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 desperate to present his defense,’ Robertson added.
On Wednesday, Baazov’s attorney formerly filed a notice contesting the allegations that are new. While retired CEO has resigned permanently from their executive positions within the company, he continues to be its majority shareholder.