Hitting the news is Illegal sports betting in the United States resulting in 25 arrests. These arrests were a result of two venues and their ability to launder money from gambling. Over the course of the gambling ring’s span in business they netted approximately ten million dollars. Federal Bureau agents began their “investigation and sting” by locating and establishing key elements and people in the gambling venue. Wiretaps were set up and several states fell into their hands. South Carolina, Florida, Los Angeles, and Chicago were a few of the surprising areas that the wire taps led the feds to investigate. Over 360 people were betting and calling to make bets during the wiretaps. Areas such as Las Vegas, Tijuana, Toronto, and Canada also fell into the trap.
One surprising individual in all of this is the Assistant United States Attorney Josh Mellor. He set up a betting and gambling operation inside his own condo in San Diego, Ca. David Stroj, also a bookie, was established to be part of the Philadelphia mafia. The FBI soon learns that Stroj was earning almost $2 million dollars each 30 days. The sports bets and card games were definitely assisting Stroj in padding his pockets. Other Casinos that show up in the investigation are the Palomar Card Club and the Seven Mile. Each of these venues was ordered by the Gambling Chief to close their doors on Wednesday.
Josh Mellor, an instrumental part of the whole investigation and closing of these casinos was quick to establish the other ways these people were able to launder their illegal funds. Different businesses came in to play when money was to be hid. A bail bond business was one of the operations hiding these illegal funds. A place that is supposed to help people post their bail when they are arrested is now in the center of their own illegal game. How ironic that nothing is sacred because a card room is accepting payments for debts from gambling. Dummy accounts set up to help individual gamblers to pay for chips in the form of Shell corporations and Bank Accounts. Gamblers deposit a specific amount of cash to eventually become their gambling chips or pay off their gambling debts. Stroj states on a tap that the ability to launder these funds kept the gambling venues in business for a time. The FBI focus on these few areas of illegal gambling even though it is suspect that other venues are hiding in the United States and other countries. The FBI is cracking down on these illegal gambling businesses. So far, the FBI raids have results of 5 states that are illegally placing and taking sports bets but it is evident that there are probably others doing the same.