Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy
Wsopbanner

Cantor Gaming Odds Maker Arrested In Nevada

Eight People Accused Of Running Illegal Sports Betting Ring

Print-icon
 

The Nevada Gaming Control Board issued a press release Thursday morning following reporting from the Las Vegas Review-Journal that a handful of individuals were arrested Wednesday for alleging running an illegal sports betting ring.

One of the people named is Mike Colbert, a high-level employee at Cantor Gaming.

The case involves PinnacleSports.com, an offshore betting site.

Here’s a look at the full 259-page indictment out of New York.

Gaming Control Board announcement:

At approximately 6:00 am, Wednesday morning, the Nevada State Gaming Control Board’s Enforcement Division, working with the New York Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, participated in the service of search warrants and the arrest of multiple individuals in connection with a major national bookmaking investigation.

Approximately 30 Agents of the Gaming Control Board (GCB), with officers and agents from the NYPD and the FBI, participated in the early morning service of several search and arrest warrants at locations across the Las Vegas Valley. In addition, numerous betting accounts and deposit boxes were also searched in conjunction with the case. A total of 8 arrests were made in Las Vegas on New York warrants charging the suspects with over 110 counts related to illegal bookmaking activity associated with an Operation dubbed “World Wide Wagers” by the NYPD’s Organized Crime Control Bureau.

Earlier this month, the District Attorney’s Office in Queens County, New York presented their case to the Grand Jury which returned a 259 page indictment charging 25 individuals with 225 counts of violations of the New York Penal Code, including Enterprise Corruption, Money Laundering, Promoting Gambling and Conspiracy.

The GCB’s Enforcement Division has been working with the NYPD on this case for the past 15 months. In their investigation, which began in 2011, the NYPD discovered a large scale bookmaking operation, with ties to traditional organized crime, operating in several states as well as at off shore locations. They also determined that there was a significant Las Vegas connection and, having worked together on several previous bookmaking cases, contacted the GCB for assistance. The Enforcement Division’s Special Investigation Section’s primary responsibility in the investigation was to conduct surveillance on known suspects, identify unknown subjects, observe money drops and exchanges, and identify accounts and safe deposit boxes being utilized by the suspects.

Those individuals indicted and living in the Las Vegas area include: Brandt England age 49 of Las Vegas, Paul Sexton age 29 of Henderson, Jerald M. Branca age 67 of Las Vegas, Joseph Paulk age 35 of Las Vegas, Michael Colbert age 32 of Las Vegas, Steven Diano age 48 of Las Vegas, Ian W. Mandel age 43 of Las Vegas, and Kelly Barsel age 42 of Las Vegas. Charges in the indictment include: Enterprise Corruption, Promoting Gambling, Money Laundering and Conspiracy.

Seven homes were searched yesterday and numerous wagering accounts and safe deposit boxes were either searched or frozen. Thus far over $2.8 million in cash and chips has been seized or secured in Las Vegas.

Based on the information, which has been and is still being obtained, the Gaming Control Board is continuing its investigation into potential statutory and regulatory violations in Nevada.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus