Legendz Sports Case Yields Millions in Fines for Police Force Agencies
Legendz Sports, which had been accused by prosecutors of offering Web and telephone gambling services almost exclusively to US gamblers, will now forfeit profits in a controversial ‘equitable sharing’ payout to law enforcement.
Legendz Sports’ unlawful activities just helped police force agencies’ bottom line in New York and Florida.
That’s because various agencies into the Empire and Sunshine states are to benefit from $9.6 million in forfeited criminal assets for their roles in breaking up the online gambling that is illegal ring.
Forty individuals were arrested in April 2013 for activities associated with Legendz Sports, a company that handled over $1 billion in bets and managed a large system of overseas sports gambling web sites.
Charges included racketeering, money-laundering, and wire fraud.
The situation began in Albany County, NY, with regional police investigating two prison guards who had been suspected of acting as bookies for prisoners. From there, the investigation quickly distribute across the US, as FBI offices in Miami, Oklahoma, and Boston coordinated with the Albany County Sheriff’s office to intercept thousands of phone telephone calls and emails that would lead to the eventually arrests.
The founder of Legendz Sports founder, Bartice ‘Luke’ King, from Oklahoma, is currently facing trial in Oklahoma City.
US Gamblers Targeted
Legendz sports, which was initially based in Costa Rica before relocating to Panama, and had been accused by investigators of offering Web and telephone gambling services almost exclusively to gamblers in the usa.
The business allegedly used bookmakers located in the usa to ‘illegally solicit and accept recreations bets as well as settle gambling debts,’ prosecutors said.
The lion’s share regarding the confiscated funds, some $4.66 million, will head to the Albany County Sheriff’s Department, with all the other $5 million to be split between three other local legislation enforcement agencies, along with the FBI and the IRS, relative to the policy of ‘equitable sharing.’
‘ In illegal gambling, money is both the way the crime is committed as well as the reason for committing it,’ said US Attorney Richard Hartunian. ‘Equitable sharing redirects these illegal proceeds toward the law that is local agencies whom use their federal counterparts and United States attorneys to dismantle large-scale criminal enterprises like this one.’
Equitable Sharing Controversies
Equitable sharing isn’t without its critics, and happens to be frequently used to confiscate money from gamblers and from poker home games. A system that was open to abuse until very recently, it allowed state and local police to seize cash and property from detainees without the need for a warrant or criminal charge, and give the proceeds to federal agencies.
In April 2013, poker players William ‘Bart’ Davis and John Newmerzhycky were stopped by a traffic cop in Iowa, ostensibly for failing woefully to visit a signal, although video surveillance in the patrol vehicle later revealed that this is not the truth.
Police seized $100,000 in cash they found in the cars’ trunk, which represented all the players’ poker bankrolls, and also a amount that is tiny of. Whilst the pair eventually received $90,000 back of the $100,000 confiscated, they were forced to spend a large number of dollars in legal fees clearing their names.
Sheldon Adelson Wrongful Termination Lawsuit To Be Heard In US Court
Sheldon Adelson may face accusations of bribery and links to organized crime in a termination suit that is wrongful. (Image: Julie Jacobson/Associated Press)
Sheldon Adelson was tooth that is fighting nail to possess a wrongful termination suit dismissed.
It had been brought by a former employee and heard in Macau’s court system, once the case included allegations against the Sands’ operations in the enclave that is chinese.
But a judge has ruled that the case will instead be heard in Nevada, opening up the possibility that Adelson and other Las Vegas Sands executives may have to respond to questions about allegations involving bribery and ties to organized crime in front of A american judge.
District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ruled on Friday that the case is heard in Nevada, citing the maneuvering that is legal the case had all taken place in america, making it just natural that the rest of the instance should be dealt with here, too.
‘This matter has been pending in Nevada courts for nearly five years,’ Gonzalez said when issuing her ruling. ‘Judicial economy will be served by continuing this litigation in Nevada.’
Macau Courts Preferred by Sands
Lawyers for Las Vegas Sands had hoped that the case could be heard in Macau, where they thought that courts might limit what could be mentioned in the actual situation within an effort to protect the casino industry.
The business is still anticipated to attract the ruling in the hopes of changing the place.
It might be surprising to see this much posturing more than a wrongful termination instance.
But, the patient bringing the suit is Steven Jacobs, the former primary administrator of the Sands’ operations in Macau, and the reason he says he was let go may potentially cause severe dilemmas for the business.
Based on Jacobs, Adelson himself authorized a payment of $700,000 in legal fees to Leonel Alves, a legislator and lawyer in Macau. Lawyers for https://myfreepokies.com the Sands stated that the payments had been well above standard rates, and that such a payment could violate US anti-bribery laws.
On that advice, Jacobs ended the company’s dealings with Alves, blocking the payments. However, he alleges that Adelson then brought Alves back on.
Jacobs Alleges Ties to Triads
Other allegations paint an image of a business that had ties to crime that is organized Macau. According to Jacobs, he tried to distance the Sands from Macau’s triads, but could not get Adelson to go with it.
In particular, Adelson has said in early court appearances that his Macau casinos have ‘no direct relationship with Cheung Chi Tai,’ a leader of the Wo Hop To triad.
However, documents from the business show that Cheung ended up being part of contracts pertaining to junkets, the operations that help bring VIP clients to casinos.
Jacobs alleges that Adelson knew that Cheung had ties to organized crime, while Sands officials have stated that they stopped conducting business with Cheung as soon as they found out about his links to the triad.
Gonzalez’s ruling follows several days of hearings in late April and May that is early which Adelson himself testified.
Adelson’s testimony was specially combative, as he attempted to avoid questions that are answering sometimes contradicted testimony off their Sands executives.
At one point during his testimony, Adelson referred to Jacobs as ‘delusional,’ and said that he was dismissed for incompetence.
In another instance, Adelson proceeded to argue with Judge Gonzalez after she ordered him to answer a question about a 2009 email.
‘Sir, you do not get to argue beside me,’ Gonzalez said to Adelson. ‘You recognize that?’
Running Profits Up for Surviving Atlantic City Casinos
Atlantic City’s staying casinos are posting much greater profits so far in 2015. (Image: AtlanticCityNJ.com)
Atlantic City could be bringing in less gambling income than before, but that does not mean that the casinos there are suffering.
The eight remaining gambling enterprises into the town reported that operating profits more than doubled in the first quarter of 2015, suggesting that the consolidation of the industry there could just be working out.
The eight surviving casinos made operating profits of $81.3 million in the first three months of 2015 as a whole.
Which was a lot more than double the $38.8 million they made in profits over that exact same period in 2014.
Casinos Healthy in Smaller Market
New Jersey Casino Control Commission Chairman Matthew Levinson touted the true numbers as proof that the Atlantic City casino industry isn’t in almost as bad shape as some observers claim.
‘ The key indicators show that the current operators carry on to enhance,’ said Levinson. ‘Gaming revenue is up, total revenue is up, net income is up, gross operating earnings are up, hotel occupancy rate is up and the average space rate is up.’
Overall, six of the eight casinos currently running in Atlantic City showed a profit throughout the very first quarter. The two exceptions were the Trump Taj Mahal, which had been regarding the verge of shutting down late a year ago, and Resorts Casino Hotel.
That compares favorably to last 12 months, when 12 casinos operated for at part that is least of the quarter (the Atlantic Club shut straight down very early in 2014).
All of which have since been closed in that more crowded market, seven casinos posted losses, including the Atlantic Club, Revel, and Trump Plaza.
The profit numbers are a reminder so it’s still not easy to assess the Atlantic City casino market by looking at revenues alone, particularly given the quickly changing number of casinos in the city.
In April, profits were really down for the remaining casinos (also after factoring in Internet gaming), mainly because Caesars had a particularly good month in April 2014 and could not repeat that success.
Borgata, Others Show Big Gains
But running profits may offer a better indicator of a individual casino’s overall health, and many would argue so it is exactly what ultimately matters for the town as a whole, too.
The figure represents exactly how much money the casinos made both gaming and non-gaming revenue, plus the actual costs of running those businesses, but usually do not factor in interest, fees or depreciation of assets.
It comes because little surprise that the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, the most successful casino in modern Atlantic City, was the big winner whenever it came to the quarterly report. The Borgata made $38.5 million over the quarter that is first an 83 percent increase over last year.
Based on Borgata’s senior vice president of operations Joe Lupo, the Borgata surely could successfully grab a number that is large of gamblers who were previously patronizing the casinos that are now closed.
‘We aggressively reached away and the consumer base found Borgata to be described as a home that is nice’ he told the Press of Atlantic City.
However, other casinos additionally saw changes that are dramatic over 12 months. Both Bally’s and the Golden Nugget posted losses within the first quarter of 2014, but made more than $4 million in profits during the first three months of 2015.
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