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Feds Bust Alleged Gambling Ring In Philadelphia

Nine Individuals Charged In Indictment Unsealed Last Week


Philadelphia will soon be home to a brand new Las Vegas-style casino, and in the meantime authorities are cracking down on alleged illicit gambling operations.

A federal indictment was unsealed Friday charging nine people in a loan sharking and illegal gambling ring allegedly run out of several Philadelphia businesses.

There were a handful of charges listed in the indictment. They include racketeering conspiracy, racketeering collection of unlawful debt, making extortionate extensions of credit, collections of extensions of credit by extortionate means, operating an illegal gambling business and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Two defendants face life in prison, if convicted. The remaining defendants each face a maximum possible sentence of 20 years.

According to the government: “The defendants and their associates used businesses located in Philadelphia — including the Lion Bar & Grill, Blackbird Café, “Ylli’s 2 Brothers,” First England Pizza, and various coffee shops, among others — to conduct the enterprise’s loan sharking activities and illegal gambling business. The defendants allegedly generated money by making and collecting on loans with usurious rates of interest; using intimidation, threats, and violence to make and collect on loans; and making loans to betting customers whose debts were incurred through the enterprise’s illegal gambling business.”

“The indictment charges the defendants with running a violent loan sharking and gambling enterprise, using intimidation, threats, and actual violence as part of their illegal business,” United States Attorney Zane David Memeger said in a statement. “We will not tolerate this type of criminal activity that preys upon financial weakness and threatens the physical safety of the individuals in debt and their innocent family members.”

For more news from Pennsylvania, check out its state page.