Welfare Recipients Allegedly Gambled With EBT Money in Florida



Welfare recipients have allegedly been gambling on somebody else’s dollar in Florida using 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 gambling that is illegal fraud scheme. Four local residents in Leon County have been arrested on charges of racketeering, money laundering, welfare card fraud, and gambling that is illegal.

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, with all the first three accused of being the ringleaders of the enterprise that is multi-venue.

According up to a news 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 had been the boss of this operation, as he owns several of the continuing companies included in the ring. Leon County described the gambling that is illegal to be similar to slots, in that players simply deposited cash, hit a button, and won or lost.

A total of 24 machines were apprehended from the Sheriff’s Office raids that occurred in after obtaining search warrants july.

Issued by the Florida Department of Children and Families, EBT cards cannot be used to purchase beverages that are alcoholic nor can the funds be invested in bars, liquor stores, adult entertainment venues, or pari-mutuel or gambling facilities.

Gizaw-Tessema created a nifty solution to the EBT regulations by offering cash in exchange for typical crucial family members supplies. He allegedly provided Costco and Sam’s Club shopping lists to EBT cardholders, and when the welfare recipients returned aided by the items, he paid them 50 cents on the dollar for the products.

With cash in hand, numerous ‘customers’ are suspected of trying to recoup their losses on Gizaw-Tessema’s video gaming machines.

Detectives estimate the EBT operation pulled in upwards of $1,000 a day. Financial records show Gizaw-Tessema deposited an overall total of $1.4 million to four bank records dating right back to January.

EBT Gambling

The story out of Tallahassee is undoubtedly maybe not the first time EBT monies have been used to gamble.

A 2010 review in California revealed that $1.8 million in welfare funds had been spent at gambling enterprises. Plus in Seattle, a local news section 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 store, any casino, gambling casino, or video gaming establishment.’ However, the federal law doesn’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 getting used for gambling. Minnesota does ban EBT cards from alcohol and tobacco purchases, while Texas has no regulations on what an individual’s welfare money is spent.

US Start Match-Fixing Scandal Once Again Plagues Tennis

The usa Open match-fixing scandal in ny has once put the sport again front and center in the media, with experts calling the activity’s integrity into question.

Irregular gambling habits 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 body was asked to probe the contest.

The Tennis Integrity device (TIU), formed in 2008 by the tennis that is leading across the world, is investigating whether poor agreements were made prior to Bacsinszky and Diatchenko’s match.

Russian online bookmaker Fonbet was reportedly the first to inform tennis over suspicious betting patterns. myfreepokies.com Bet365 filed similar grievances and said it was forced to suspend betting regarding the match.

‘ As with every cases, the TIU will assess, produce a judgment and take action that is appropriate 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 assessed and followed up as an indicator that something inappropriate may have happened. Its crucial to understand that the alert on its own isn’t evidence of match-fixing.’

Integrity Device Win

Corruption has unfortunately beleaguered the sport of tennis for years, however the 2016 US start match-fixing scandal could have long-term impact that is positive. That’s because the match in concern appears to go against all traditional match-fixing wisdom.

Rather than an unranked or lower-seeded opponent pulling off an upset at insurmountable odds, Bacsinszky, the 16th-ranked player in the globe, did precisely what she was expected to do. Bacsinszky won is sets that are straight but regardless, the betting houses detected irregularities.

Bacsinszky won a silver medal in increases at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, while Diatchenko is rated 677th on the planet.

Bacsinszky was a -425 favorite at Bovada, meaning one would need to bet $425 to win $100. But in tennis, because could be the situation with particular other activities, in-play wagering has exploded in popularity offshore.

Numerous part 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 many eyes are watching. However, fewer bets will also be typically put on non-marquee games, which makes it that more challenging to conceal fraudulent activity.

Sports Betting Prefer

The TIU has had a busy 2016. In the very first quarter alone, the agency had been notified 48 times over dubious gambling patterns.

The many notable tennis name to be engulfed in sports gambling is current number 1 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.

During the Australian Open, gambling was suspended on a mixed doubles match, however 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 your limelight. Arguello, rated 87th on the planet during the time, won the match when Davydenko that is fourth-ranked withdrew an injury.

Alleged Mob Kingpin Joey Merlino Banned from All Pennsylvania Casinos

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 head of the Philadelphia Mob, happens to be banned from entering the state’s 12 casinos. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) voted unanimously this to designate ‘Skinny Joey’ persona non grata, after an altercation at the Sugarhouse Casino in March week.

That, and the fact he was arrested in very early August along side 46 alleged mob associates, soldiers and capos, and accused of being among the ringleaders of an unlawful empire known as the East Coast La Cosa Nostra Enterprise.

Skinny Joey and his associates have already been charged, variously, with illegal gambling, extortion, gun-running, fraud, good conventional racketeering, along with other crimes. He could be currently out on $5 million bail as he awaits trial.

Blackjack Fracas

The PGCB said so it began its investigation following an incident at the Sugarhouse blackjack tables when Merlino and his entourage dropped as a disagreement with several other players.

Based on documents seen by Fox News, things got heated and several punches were thrown before security broke up the fight. Merlino apparently then shook hands with one of the opposing group and left.

When he returned to the same casino the following thirty days, he was met by PGCB agents who attempted to serve him with an exclusion order, but he brushed them off and walked away.

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 house, at Harrah’s, at SugarHouse,’ said board spokesman Doug Harbach. ‘It’s a permanent ban he should really be taken from the list. unless he petitions the board to be removed and provides the board with ample reason why’

Wiseguy Sting

The arrests month that is last as the result of a joint research between the FBI and nyc’s arranged crime task force and is believed to own spanned several years and involved infiltration by the undercover FBI agent into the ranks of this company.

Investigators say they have collected 1000s 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 charges within the past, but has served prison time for racketeering. He was already barred from all Atlantic City gambling enterprises.

Quebec Regulator Accuses Ex-Amaya Chief David Baazov of Taking Kickbacks

It’s been a year that is rough David Baazov. The former golden child and chief executive officer of Canada’s Amaya Inc., was charged by Quebec’s financial regulatory arm, the AMF, of insider trading. Although he has denied most of the charges vehemently, he first took a short-term leave, and then finally stepped down, from their executive duties at the video gaming company.

David Baazov denies the charges which he profited from a classy insider trading scheme by getting 10 percent kickbacks for leaking information that is privileged. (Image: YouTube.com)

However now, a bombshell that is new been lobbied at the ex-leader: that of taking kickbacks in exchange for information, as reported by the AMF. According to court documents filed by the regulator, Baazov ended up being the head of an insider trading ‘pyramid’ and took kickbacks for leaking privileged information to a ‘sophisticated network.’

The network, the AMF contends, contains his brother, some business acquaintances, and other friends and family members.

Baazov engineered one the most takeovers that are audacious gambling history, the $4.9 billion purchase 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 earth.

Now he faces new allegations, presented this week in documents, which would be the outcome of a continued investigation by the AMF on the spring and summer. The regulator alleges that Baazov was the primary supply of leaked information that was disseminated through their sibling, Josh Baazov, and their associate, Craig Levett, a former amaya consultant.

Ten Percent Kickbacks

It also alleges why these three took kickbacks for their services, typically amounting to 10 % of all of the profits gained, and that included ‘luxury items’ presented as gifts, including a Rolex watch worth $13,000. The AMF alleges that the terms had been ‘negotiated before the offenses,’ and that the combined team showed a ‘high degree of organization and elegance’ 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, heading back to Amaya’s acquisition of Cryptologic this year.

Amaya has had a ambitious m&a strategy over the past six years, acquiring Chartwell, Ongame, Cadillac Jack, and Diamond Game Enterprises, in addition to Cryptologic and also the Oldford Group, which owned PokerStars. Two purchases under scrutiny had been unrelated to Amaya: Scientific Games’ purchase of WMS and Intertain’s purchase Gamesys’ major assets.

Baazov Denial

According to the AMF, members associated with the group had been still attempting to benefit from Baazov’s bid to acquire Amaya and take it private, a move that has been announced in this year, long after the AMF investigation had been launched january.

‘Mr. Baazov has been categorical: he would not receive anything,’ his spokesman Ian Robertson told the Financial Post via email. ‘As Mr. Baazov has previously stated, he is innocent of any wrongdoing and wanting to present his defense,’ Robertson added.

On Wednesday, Baazov’s attorney formerly filed a notice contesting the new allegations. While retired CEO has resigned permanently from his professional positions within the ongoing business, he stays its majority shareholder.

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