Legendz Sports, which was accused by prosecutors of offering online 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 agencies’ bottom line in brand New York and Florida.
That’s because various agencies within the Empire and Sunshine states are to benefit from $9.6 million in forfeited criminal assets for their roles in breaking up the illegal online gambling ring.
Forty individuals were arrested in April 2013 for activities linked to Legendz Sports, a company that handled over $1 billion in bets and managed a network that is large of sports gambling internet sites.
Charges included racketeering, money-laundering, and wire fraud.
The case began in Albany County, NY, with local authorities investigating two prison guards who were suspected of acting as bookies for prisoners. After that, the investigation quickly distribute over the US, as FBI offices in Miami, Oklahoma, and Boston coordinated with the Albany County Sheriff’s office to intercept thousands of phone calls and e-mails that would sooner or later induce the arrests.
The founder of Legendz Sports founder, Bartice ‘Luke’ King, from Oklahoma, is currently facing trial in Oklahoma City.
US Gamblers Targeted
Legendz sports, that has been initially based in Costa Rica before relocating to Panama, and had been accused by investigators of offering Internet and telephone gambling services almost exclusively to gamblers in the usa.
The business allegedly used bookmakers located in america to ‘illegally solicit and accept sports bets along with settle gambling debts,’ prosecutors stated.
The lion’s share of the confiscated funds, some $4.66 million, will visit 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, according to the policy of ‘equitable sharing.’
‘ In illegal gambling, money is both the real way the crime is committed and also the reason for committing it,’ said US Attorney Richard Hartunian. ‘Equitable sharing redirects these illegal proceeds toward the law that is local agencies who use their federal counterparts and United States attorneys to dismantle large-scale criminal enterprises like this one.’
Equitable Sharing Controversies
Equitable sharing is not without its critics, and is frequently used to confiscate money from gamblers and from poker home games. Until extremely recently, it permitted state and local police to seize cash and property from detainees without the necessity for a warrant or criminal charge, and provide the profits to federal agencies, a system that ended up being open to punishment.
In 2013, poker players William ‘Bart’ Davis and John Newmerzhycky were stopped by a traffic cop in Iowa, ostensibly for failing to stop at a signal, although video surveillance in the patrol car later showed that this was not the case april.
Police seized $100,000 in money they found in the cars’ trunk, which represented all the players’ poker bankrolls, plus a tiny amount of marijuana. Whilst the pair eventually received $90,000 back for the $100,000 confiscated, they were forced to invest several thousand 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 fighting tooth and nail to possess a wrongful termination suit dismissed.
It was brought by a former employee and heard in Macau’s court system, due to the fact case included allegations against the Sands’ operations in the enclave that is chinese.
However a judge has ruled that the case will instead be heard in Nevada, opening the possibility that Adelson and other Las Vegas Sands executives might have to respond to questions about allegations involving bribery and ties to organized crime in front of a judge that is american.
District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ruled on Friday that the case is heard in Nevada, citing the maneuvering that is legal the instance had all taken place in the United States, making it only natural that the rest of the situation should be handled here, too.
‘This matter has been pending in Nevada courts for nearly five years,’ Gonzalez stated whenever issuing her ruling. ‘Judicial economy would be served by continuing this litigation in Nevada.’
Macau Courts Preferred by Sands
Lawyers for Las Vegas Sands had hoped that the full case could be heard in Macau, where they thought that courts might limit what could be discussed in the truth in an effort to guard the casino industry.
The company continues to be expected to appeal the ruling in the hopes of changing the venue.
It could be surprising to see this much posturing more than a termination case that is wrongful.
Nevertheless, the in-patient bringing the suit is Steven Jacobs, the former primary executive of the Sands’ operations in Macau, and the reason he says he was release could potentially cause serious dilemmas for the business.
In accordance with Jacobs, Adelson himself authorized a payment of $700,000 in legal fees to Leonel Alves, a lawyer and legislator in Macau. Lawyers for the Sands said that the payments were well above standard rates, and that this kind of payment could break US laws that are anti-bribery.
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 company that had ties to organized criminal activity in Macau. According to Jacobs, he attempted to distance the Sands from Macau’s triads, but could not get Adelson to go along 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 ongoing business show that Cheung was part of contracts regarding 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 doing business with Cheung as soon as they found down about his links to the triad.
Gonzalez’s ruling follows several days of hearings in late April and early May, during which Adelson himself testified.
Adelson’s testimony was especially combative, as he tried to avoid responding to concerns and sometimes contradicted testimony from other Sands executives.
At one point during his testimony, Adelson referred to Jacobs as ‘delusional,’ and said 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 aren’t getting to argue with me,’ Gonzalez said to Adelson. ‘You realize that?’
Running Profits Up for Surviving Atlantic City Casinos
Atlantic City’s staying casinos are posting much higher profits so far in 2015. (Image: AtlanticCityNJ.com)
Atlantic City could be bringing in less gambling income than in the past, but that does not mean that the casinos there are putting up with.
The eight remaining casinos into the city reported that operating profits significantly more than doubled in the first quarter of 2015, suggesting that the consolidation of the industry there may simply be exercising.
The eight surviving casinos made operating profits of $81.3 million in the first three months of 2015 as a whole.
That 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 is not in almost as bad shape as some observers claim.
‘ The key indicators show that the current operators carry on to improve,’ said Levinson. ‘Gaming revenue is up, total income is up, web income is up, gross working profits are up, resort occupancy rate is up and the average space rate is up.’
Overall, six of the eight casinos currently running in Atlantic City showed a revenue within the first quarter. The 2 exceptions were the Trump Taj Mahal, which had been in the verge of shutting down later this past year, and Resorts Casino Hotel.
That compares favorably to final year, when 12 gambling enterprises operated for at least part 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 figures are a reminder it’s still not very easy to assess the Atlantic City casino market by looking at revenues alone, particularly offered the number that is rapidly changing of in the city.
In April, profits were actually down for the remaining casinos (also after factoring in Internet gaming), largely because Caesars had a month that is particularly good April https://myfreepokies.com/aristocrat-pokies/ 2014 and could not duplicate that success.
Borgata, Others Show Big Gains
But running profits may give a better indicator of a individual casino’s overall health, and numerous would argue it is what ultimately counts for the city as being a whole, too.
The figure represents how much money the casinos made both gaming and non-gaming income, plus the actual costs of running those businesses, but don’t factor in interest, fees or depreciation of assets.
It comes since little surprise that the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, probably 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 throughout the very first quarter, an 83 percent increase over last year.
In accordance with Borgata’s senior vice president of operations Joe Lupo, the Borgata was able to successfully grab a lot of the latest gamblers who were previously patronizing the casinos that are now closed.
‘We aggressively reached out and the consumer base found Borgata to be a home that is nice’ he told the Press of Atlantic City.
However, other casinos also saw changes that are dramatic over year. Both Bally’s and the Golden Nugget posted losings within the quarter that is first of, but made more than $4 million in earnings through the very first three months of 2015.