Twenty-five individuals have been indicted across five states for one of the largest illegal gambling rings in recent history. These names include Michael Colbert, who is the Vice President of Las Vegas’s famous Cantor Gaming. With his name comes a long list of men charged with money laundering in the first, second, third and fourth degree. In addition, all of these men are also facing charges of enterprise corruption and conspiracy.
It is estimated that more than $50 million dollars of profit were brought in by the ring in about a year and a half. The collectors and movers of money between agents and bookmakers are not reported to have held positions with major companies, but some of the other individuals involved were importantly connected to major betting institutions.
The gambling operation was quite elaborate: there were various roles that each man played, and they formed a hybrid between a bank and a cartel to move the money. Some of these men, such as Pinnacle Sports owner George Molsbarger, were responsible for creating and distributing the gambling books, while others such as the Cantor Gaming vice president were responsible for developing a clientele of regular gamblers that fueled the underground ring. The money was moved through private individuals responsible for transporting gambling proceeds to and from the bookmakers and agents.
The sports betting included everything from professional to college sports. In the initial stages of the arrests, over $7 million was reportedly seized in various parts of California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Nevada, with the strongest presence in Nevada stemming from Las Vegas. Most of the sports betting is reported to have happened in private, online gambling rooms that were run on major websites. The agents that distributed funds would be responsible for distributing the money to and collecting money from their clients after the resulting games. This kept the money laundering from having an electronic paper trail, while also giving the agents an easy way of identifying and extracting money from individuals should they refuse to pay their debts.
All sentencing, convictions or penalties are pending further litigation. The defendants are currently building their defense and preparing for trial.
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