The Gambling911.com Crime Blog: Player Pleads Guilty in Scam

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
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Welcome to the Gambling911.com Crime Blog, all the latest news and social media stories about gambling-related crime as well as organized crime.  Our crime coverage is among the most popular features of the site.  We are thrilled to bring you all the latest news as it happens via this blog.

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Poker Player Pleads Guilty in Scam

(December 3, 2019) - Michael Borovetz has plead guilty to a single charge of theft.

Borovetz is said to have scammed people for years.

The 43-year-old from Pittsburgh is accused of taking advantage of unsuspecting travelers at Newark Airport.   He did the same at Charlotte Douglas Airport.  He would lie to passengers, telling them he was stranded and needed money for a hotel room.

Maltese PM to Step Down After Arrest of Man Tied to Journalist Murder

(December 3, 2019) - Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has bowed to mounting popular pressure and announced his plans to resign in the new year. The embattled premier, beset with questions about the unsolved murder of an investigative journalist, answered by voicing his "deep regret" over the incident in a televised address Sunday evening.

The announcement caps weeks of escalating criticism of Muscat and his government over their response to the 2017 car bomb killing of reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia. The investigative journalist had been known widely in Malta for her dogged pursuit of government corruption — quite a bit of which she unearthed by carefully perusing the massive Panama Papers leak, which has revealed a slew of inappropriate financial moves by politicians around the world.  An explosive device blew up her car while she was in it killing Galizia instantly.

Police recently arrested Yorgen Fenech in connection to the case.  The 38-year-old gambling and real estate magnate whose business activities have been linked to members of Muscat's inner circle.

Police recently arrested Yorgen Fenech in connection to the case.  The 38-year-old gambling and real estate magnate whose business activities have been linked to members of Muscat's inner circle.

Fenech is a director and co-owner of a business group that won a large energy concession from the Maltese state.

RealGrinders Founder Raymond Davis Claims Innocence In Child Sex Case

(December 2, 2019) - RealGrinders poker site founder Raymond Davis says he is innocent of any wrongdoing as he faces up to 35 years in prison on sexual abuse charges of a minor.

The 52-year-old from California is accused of paying an underage child to give him oral sex in 2014.  He was arrested this year and remains behind bars.

“I have never, never in my life, paid a girl, underage woman, girl for sex,” he insisted.

Police first filed a warrant against Davis two-and-a-half-years ago.

Davis questioned law enforcement moving so slowly.  He was only arrested after an unrelated traffic stop.

“They never made an effort to come to my house. They never came to my store. I’m very high profile; anybody, a 10-year-old Boy Scout can find me.

"I got a big following. I’m on social media. My whereabouts is there. I got a custom red Camaro, my name on it, my business RG on it.”

Betway Reportedly Allowed Customer to Bet £370,000 of stolen cash

(November 25, 2019) - Betway is reportedly under investigation for allowing a customer to gamble with £370,000 of stolen cash.

The UK Gambling Commission is investigating whether Betway was lax in allowing Ben Jones, 30, to afford the sums he was gambling with.  The money was stolen from the Cake Decorating Co, where he worked as a manager.

A court has already decided that Ben suffered from a “psychiatric disorder” brought on from his gambling addiction.

It is alleged that Ben had been draining his employer for over three and a half years out of £30,000 a month, most of which he gambled away.

In addition to the Commission probe, Ben's former employer also plans to sue Betway.

Two PPH Operators Arrested in US

(November 25, 2019) - Two individuals who ran the Pay Per Head business PremierPerHead.com were arrested and released on bond Friday following a multi-year investigation into a Cleveland-based bookmaking business that utilized the legal call center based in Costa Rica.

Federal prosecutors had sought the forfeiture of 41-year-old bookmaker Clinton Reider's lakefront home outside of Cleveland back in August, though he was not charged with a crime at the time and is not named in the November 21 complaint resulting in four arrests.  His property was obtained through violations of federal laws prohibiting transmitting gambling information and running an illegal gambling business as well as money laundering.  He had run his bookmaking business since 2010.

During their investigation of Reider, agents obtained texts between Reider and the operators of PremierPerHead.com, which has been offline since Friday. Pay Per Head operators like PremierPerHead.com are considered legal in Costa Rica and widely advertise via Google.  The complaint does note that both Google and Microsoft were ordered to turn over specified information to the Northern District of Ohio Attorney General's office, which filed the complaint.  Over 46,800 text messages between the operators of PremierPerHead.com and Reider between May 2018 and January 2019 were obtained.

One of the individuals tied to PremierPerHead.com was arrested in Cleveland, another in Orlando and another defendant in Miami.  Each posted bond and await a court hearing.  

Each is charged with the offenses of operating an illegal gambling business, conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business and conspiring to the laundering of monetary instruments.

Reider's website SquarePlays.com, provided by PremierPerHead.com, remains online.

Former Boss of Illegal Ottawa Gambling Ring Target of Shooting

Ottawa police say there’s “no danger to the public” after a man was taken to hospital in critical condition after suffering gunshot wounds in an incident near the intersection of Meadowlands Drive and Merivale Road.

Benedetto “Benny” Manasseri had just finished an early morning workout when he was shot at close range as he got into his white Chevy pick-up in the parking lot of a high-end Meadowlands gym.

An assailant, who knew Manasseri would be there, approached and fired bullets through the driver’s side window. Manasseri, an Ottawa business man with long-standing ties to organized crime, was shot in the chest. He was rushed to hospital and into surgery. He remains in critical condition while police investigate the targeted attempted hit on his life.

More From The Ottawa Citizen and watch below

Two Arrested Following Casino Embezzlement Probe

(November 19, 2019) - California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Monday the arrest of two individuals in an alleged embezzlement scheme at Red Hawk Tribal Casino in Placerville, California involving more than $200,000.

Luc Mooc and Prak Pich were arrested last Thursday following a probe by the state’s Bureau of Gambling Control and casino surveillance staff.

“Pich, a floor manager at the casino, would allegedly extend credit lines to Mooc, a casino patron, and then falsify documents to make it appear as if the credit line had been paid back,” Becerra’s office said. “These short term, no-interest credit lines are commonly extended by casinos to allow approved patrons easy access to gambling funds with the understanding that the temporary loan would be repaid within a short period of time.

“However, instead of paying back the loans, Mooc and Pich allegedly conspired to steal the funds that would range anywhere from $12,000 to $14,000 at a time.”


Casino Director Arrested for Destroying Casino Property

November 18, 2019 - (AP) - Springfield’s Communication Director, Marian Sullivan, has been suspended after she was arrested for damaging property at the MGM Springfield Casino in Massachusetts. Sullivan has been charged with destruction of property.

According to a report from the Republican newspaper, Marian Sullivan was arrested at the downtown casino around 3 a.m. Sunday.

The police have said that she damaged property at the gambling facility and restaurant and also vandalized cars in a parking garage. A police spokesman has also said that she appeared to be intoxicated.

The associated press reports that Mayor Domenic J. Sarno was “shocked and very disturbed” by the arrest. He said he’s hopeful Sullivan “will seek the help that she seems to need.”

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno also confirmed that Sullivan will remain suspended until the case makes its way through the court proceedings. He did decline to answer further questions of the reporters.

MGM which is planning to tap into new markets is on an asset off-loading spree and according to the reports, the casino and hospitality giant is planning to sell its Springfield casino property.

MGM has already announced the sale of its Bellagio Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas strip, for $4.25 billion.

MGM incurred a net loss of $37m during the third quarter2019. For the same period the previous year, MGM had reported a profit of $143m.

Lucchese Mobster Didn’t Plot Prison Break — Just Had Lots of Sheets

“People have sheets,” attorney John Meringolo said of the 17 bed sheets found wadded under Christopher Londonio’s bunk in his eighth-floor cell of the Metropolitan Detention Center in 2017. “I submit to you, bed sheets in his room, that’s not gonna cut it.”

A jailhouse snitch testified that Londonio’s elaborate plan involved cutting through the window with braided dental floss, severing bars with a hacksaw smuggled in by a priest, and a crash diet in which he binged on bran.

Once the 350 pound wiseguy could fit out the window, he allegedly intended to climb down the knotted sheets to the parking lot below.

“Where’s the hacksaw, where’s the dental floss, where’s the priest?” Meringolo asked Tuesday, before decrying the idea that his client dropped pounds to fit out a window.

Read More From the NY Post

CS:GO Money Laundering Shut Down by Game Publisher Valve Corp

(November 6, 2019) - Counter Strike: Global Offensive publisher Valve Corporation said this week it pulled the plug on money-laundering activity taking place via its microtransaction system.

The company admitted through a statement that criminals were “liquidating gains” through the trading of digital keys that are used in CS:GO to open loot-boxes.

The amount laundered was not immediately known, however, some hundreds of thousands of boxes and keys were sold through the Steam store.  Most keys and boxes sell for a few dollars.

From eSportsJunkie:

Many fraudsters have previously match-fixed their CSGO betting games in order to make large amounts of fraudulent profit.

The thieves used the loot collecting mechanisms of the game, which allows players to exchange their keys and receive real cash prizes.

Valve said that the game has been patched to stop keys being exchanged online.

Until recently, Valve said that keys were usually traded among real players. But it changed now as a game was targeted by fraudsters.

“At this point, nearly all key purchases that end up being traded or sold on the marketplace are believed to be fraud-sourced,” a company spokesperson confirmed.

Keys are now attached to a player’s account so that they can not be transferred.

Woman Who Rammed RV Into Vegas Casino Was Trespassed

(October 29, 2019) - A woman accused of driving a motor home into the Cannery Casino in North Las Vegas, critically injuring an employee, said she did it because she was owed money and had been trespassed from the property.

Jennifer Stitt, 50, remained jailed today on a count of attempted murder at the Las Vegas city jail, records show. Bail was set at $100,000.

Stitt was captured on video driving through the valet area about 5:15 a.m. Friday and abruptly turning into the breezeway entrance, North Las Vegas Police said.

Read More Here

Time's Up for Duo Accused of Drugging Man in Casino?

(October 25, 2019) - Two women accused of slipping a mickey into a man's drink while he played at the slot machines and steeling his multi-thousand dollar Rolex may finally be captured after the two were profiled on Friday night's episode of Live PD.

Both women had their faces clearly shown during the segment and LivePD Nation is now spreadking the word.

The incident occurred at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Tallahassee Police Arrest 10 People in Ongoing Gambling Raids

(October 24, 2019) - The Tallahassee Police Department arrested 10 people over the past few weeks on charges they were involved in illegal gambling houses.

The arrests come as part of an ongoing crackdown by TPD and the Leon County Sheriff's Office on alleged gambling operations and so-called internet cafes following armed robberies in two establishments.

During one of the robberies, on April 26, a man opened fire inside the Arcade Center, 1889 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. No one was injured in the shooting and a suspect was later arrested. Six search warrants were served after the shooting and the establishments closed.  Read More Here


- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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