Lafayette Louisiana sports betting operation took in $4 million a month

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Thread: Lafayette Louisiana sports betting operation took in $4 million a month

  1. #1  
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    LAFAYETTE – State police investigators say arrests Tuesday in Vermilion Parish broke up a sports betting operation that handled $4 million a month.

    The two-year operation that resulted in the arrests, Operation Player’s Paradise, focused on complaints that people “with connections to organized crimes” were taking sports bets from across the country.

    The people arrested Tuesday morning were booked into the Vermilion Parish jail on counts of money laundering, conspiracy to commit illegal gambling, illegal gambling and illegal gambling by computer.

    Arrested were:

    Glenn Mouton, 59, of Abbeville.
    Philip Mazella, Jr. 58, of Maurice.
    Jerry Freo, 58, of Lafayette.
    Isaac Migues, 65, of New Iberia.
    Cordell Hebert, 64, of Lafayette.
    Angelle, 24 of The Rx.com

    The Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations Gaming Enforcement Division also executed three search warrants in the case.

    !
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    For several years, state investigators say, an illegal gambling ring centered in Vermilion Parish has been betting that it would stay under the radar of law enforcement. Early this morning, a two-year investigation by state police led to three separate raids and the arrest of five Acadiana men. Additional arrests are anticipated.

    Troopers say the group is believed to have ties to organized crime and estimate that up to $4 million moved through the illegal operations each month.

    They say anonymous tips led them to a small warehouse in Maurice. Later in the day, they busted two more illegal operations in Abbeville. So far, five people have been arrested just on the outskirts of Maurice.
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    if you go to katc and go to news stories there is video of the arrests and office.
    the interesting thing is they were all charged with
    bookmaking
    moneylaundring
    gambling by computer
    attempted gambling by computer

    i have never heard of the last 2
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    office
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    Thanks ballsofblue. At 4 million a month, these guys should be able to buy a good attorney.
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    Angelle!! say it ain't so!! !!!
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    quote:

    Arrested were:

    Glenn Mouton, 59, of Abbeville.
    Philip Mazella, Jr. 58, of Maurice.
    Jerry Freo, 58, of Lafayette.
    Isaac Migues, 65, of New Iberia.
    Cordell Hebert, 64, of Lafayette.
    Angelle, 24 of The Rx.com

    l


    This explains why I am still waiting for my shirt.

    HTRC
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    they'll be alright the only thing with teeth is the money laundering. but i have never heard of the charge gambling by computer. i have someone looking into it and will report back
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    quote:
    i have someone looking into it and will report back


    Thanks for the info, Ballzo'Blue. I agree that is some funky shit, I never heard of those charges before either. That's the kind of funky shit that makes one nervous.

  10. gambling by computer
  11. attempted gambling by computer

    WTF???

    I'll be looking forward to reading your reports, Ballz. Thanks again.
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    look no further. here it is. my guy who lives down there just told me had heard they tried to pass something but didn't think it had went through..obviously he was wrong. as i read this even viewing a website related to gaming is illegal!! this is not good news, but as he said these guys probably backed the loser in the sheriffs election a few weeks ago..if they had backed the winner they would still be in buisness. thats how its done in louisiana.
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    quote:
    but as he said these guys probably backed the loser in the sheriffs election a few weeks ago..if they had backed the winner they would still be in buisness. thats how its done in louisiana.


    Imagine that
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    I thought everyone down in Louisiana were cousins. Family just ain't what it used to be.
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    LOL Nice4putt

    I do wonder about the gambling by computer. That would be an easy catch for law if they could round us up for that. ISP's could show the visiting & the Hard Drives would present evidence of gambling.
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    yes there was just a sheriff election and the same guy won. he is strait as an arrow. would not even help his son out with some drug trouble that he got into. everyone else has always been very lax. louisiana never really cared about gambling everyone does it. but they are saying that the investigation started 2 years ago based on a tip. the opperation that was busted everyone knew about, i mean everyone, my mom even knew about it. so the interesting thing is that why all of a sudden do the give a rats ass. might be someone trying to make a name for themselves.
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    here is what i have found so far on my own about the charge gambling by computer. it has more teeth than bookmaking in LA but still only a 20k fine not the end of the world but very interesting legislation. i have someone looking into this and they have not gotten back to me yet i will continue to update.

    Gambling By Computer is the intentional conducting or directly assisting in the conducting of any game, contest, lottery or contrivance whereby a person risks the loss of anything of value in order to realize a profit using any computer, computer system, computer software, or any server accessing the Internet, World Wide Web, or any part thereof.


    link to the entire law
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    entire thing

    Jim Pietrangelo was surfing the Internet. Being an Industry vet, when he came to the Louisiana Legislature’s home page he keyed in the search term, "gambling." The text of a pending bill appeared on his monitor:


    Gambling By Computer is the intentional conducting or directly assisting in the conducting of any game, contest, lottery or contrivance whereby a person risks the loss of anything of value in order to realize a profit using any computer, computer system, computer software, or any server accessing the Internet, World Wide Web, or any part thereof.


    ...Whoever designs, develops, maintains, provides or produces any computer services, computer systems, computer network, computer software or any server providing a home page, web site, or any other product accessing the Internet, World Wide Web, or any part thereof offering to any client the conducting of any game, contest, lottery or contrivance whereby a person risks the loss of anything of value in order to realize a profit shall be fined not more than $20,000.00 or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than five years, or both.


    By now Jim was paying close attention to the information rushing at him from the legislature’s website. He must have been thinking, "They want to make it a crime to play a game - any game - on computers over the Internet. All you would need to be eligible for a five-year sentence would be a risk, a profit and any game and (oh yes) use of the Internet with a computer. What will this do to tournament play for prizes?"


    The bill’s sponsor was Representative Tony Perkins. This gentleman has a 100% voting record on Christian Coalition issues and is about as outspoken an opponent to all forms of gaming as dwells in Louisiana. His colleagues in the anti-gambling faction of the Legislature had already introduced a bill to repeal legalized video poker. The bill passed the Senate but the House stopped it. Now, in the same session, this Gambling By Computer bill appeared. Could Representative Perkins have been attempting to repeal video poker legalization, by the back door? When Jim discovered the Gambling By Computer bill, it was due for a floor vote in the Senate just two days later.


    Where was LAMOA? On the job, definitely, but preoccupied with defending legalized video poker from direct attack. Its lobbyists and those who represent individual operators had indeed negotiated an amendment to the bill. The amendment was to be offered in the Senate and would make a special exception from the overbroad definition of the crime, but that exception would narrow. It would only apply to licensed video poker. Jim asked the LAMOA Board to try again.


    LAMOA had allies in its second effort to minimize the damage of the Gambling By Computer bill. The operative elements, (1) risk, (2) contrivance, and (3) profit were so broad that (according to lobbyist Alton Ashy, who worked to carry the Industry’s message about this bill) the telephone companies and several securities houses were concerned that the Gambling By Computer would criminalize several legitimate business activities if it were passed in its original form. Their legislative teams had joined LAMOA in some earnest last-minute negotiation of a long list of exceptions. As finally passed the exceptions include transactions in stocks and bonds, and communication services. Except for video poker, our industry’s exception was less direct than the others. A game involving consideration (and therefore a risk of a financial loss) and the possibility of profit (derived from a prize with a value in excess of the consideration paid), is still a Louisiana crime whether the game be one of chance or one of skill but (with a last minute amendment to the bill) this is so only if the activity is conducted "as a business".


    What does "as a business" mean? If I operate a skill tournament using video games at remote sites, I guess you could say that I do so "as a business." Perhaps the only headway made in the last few days before passage of the Gambling By Computer bill was to spare the customer’s activity from being criminalized but not that of the operator. (This is a little bit like Prohibition. The Vollstead Act outlawed the distribution and sale of liquor, but not the consumption of it.)


    According to Ashy, Representative Perkins is regarded to be a man of his word. Accordingly, you can take it that he is sincere in stating that his intentions with respect to the Gambling By Computer bill were straightforward and that he was not attempting to achieve video poker repeal in a devious way. Moreover, gambling on the Internet is a serious problem - one which could potentially unite those who oppose gambling on moral or social grounds, those who operate (or wish to operate) licensed gambling activities and those who operate prize games for amusement purposes. However, Internet gambling presents complex legal issues requiring a legislative response shaped by an assessment of the entire state and federal scheme of defining prohibiting and regulating gambling. In my view, to take the short cut of merely plugging a new crime definition into an already outmoded and archaic system of laws relating to gambling, is folly.


    Was this particular redefinition of a Louisiana gambling crime necessary? The Internet together with a computer and an ATM card, in effect puts a slot machine in every home. These slot machines are run by anonymous unregulated proprietors who are deterred from the practice of collecting all wagers and paying no winners, only by whatever honesty they may possess. Pirate casino websites and their owners are characteristically located in places that are beyond federal jurisdiction, let alone that of any state. The problem is such that it is a major issue on the agenda of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission; and the National Association of Attorneys General has established working group to examine the adequacy of state and federal laws to prohibit the business of unregulated wagering being made available to every home and to recommend those changes in state and federal laws necessary to enforce such a prohibition.


    The problem has never been that a state’s definition of prohibited gambling activity would not include activity utilizing as its particular instrumentality, the Internet. Indeed, at least two state attorneys general have issued formal opinions to the effect that their states’ existing criminal laws would be violated by a person using a computer to gamble on the Internet, within their respective states. For all that has been written about gambling on the Internet (and the literature on this subject is growing rapidly) substantially no commentary has been directed at the adequacy of state criminal definitions.


    Rather, the legal uncertainty stems from the jurisdiction of a state to prosecute the owner or operator of a website or computer billboard operated beyond the state’s borders. The other issue under scrutiny is the adequacy of existing federal statutes to reach criminal gambling activity involving computer billboards and web pages. What appears to have everybody stumped is what to do about web pages owned and operated on foreign territory beyond United States jurisdiction. You’ll notice that none of this reexamination of our law of gambling, includes attention to redefinition of state gambling crimes.


    Public issues related to gambling tend to involve the heated clash of opposing, intensely committed interests and the desire of their advocates to demonstrate to those constituencies that they are doing their job. I speculate that this is why Representative Perkins introduced a bill that wasn’t needed to protect the citizens of Louisiana from the very real danger of unrestricted, unregulated Internet wagering.


    Here’s the irony of the whole affair. The Representative’s bill called to the attention of at least three groups that its overbroad prohibition might criminalize their business activities. These groups all responded, obtained varying degrees of legislative relief immediately, and obtained, according to lobbyist Alton Ashy, the assurances of substantially every legislator contacted that there was no intention to restrict communications common carrier activities, transactions in securities or location based entertainment involving amusement redemption. Nevertheless, Representative Perkins’ bill would have done nothing more than apply a crime definition on the books in Louisiana since 1944, to a particular instrumentality which might be used in committing the crime. Despite all the concern of these groups and all of the frenzied discussion concerning what was really intended by the legislature and what was required in the text of the bill to obviate unintended harm to legitimate activity, the text of another section of Louisiana Criminal Code, borrowed by Representative Perkins for his Gambling By Computer bill, remains in full effect.


    Although it has never been enforced in this way, if taken literally, the text of this section could be the basis for the same unexpected restriction on legitimate activity that was the cause of such concern in respect of the Gambling By Computer bill. I am talking about section 90, of the part of the Louisiana Criminal Code which provides the basic definition of all Louisiana gambling crimes. It too defines the offense in terms of placing something at risk and hoping to realize a profit. It too makes no mention of how the game is actually played. Although (to repeat) it has never been enforced in this way, in Louisiana you could conceivably be throwing balls through hoops and violating the law. Do you think I’m kidding? Here is the text:


    Gambling is the intentional conducting, or directly assisting in the conducting, as a business, of any game, contest, lottery or contrivance whereby a person risks the loss of anything of value in order to realize a profit.
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    Thanks Balls, we're all following along with you. A friend of mine was a "law breaker" by being involved in a private pokerroom, he only got in trouble when one of these things happened:


    - Someone's wife called. A guy gets hammered enough and when he can't hide it any longer his spouse turns the place in. Often the man accuses the place of being dishonest. Of course the guy mucking a hand about as frequently as Haley's comet comes around has nothing to do with him losing.

    - You are taking money out of someone else's pocket. Or not greasing the right guy. He ran a long time without trouble until some boats came down that also offered poker. When players recruit on the ships and they suffer a loss of $$$ then they turn you in. And yes it was stupid to be out there recruiting in the first place.

    - Election time. Almost set your watch by it. The incumbent sheriff would always want to bolster his tough on criminals stance by rounding up some gamblers. Only thing worse was getting fresh meat elected. Not yet use to the grab all you can get politics of this country they were the worse. Nothing was harder than covincing these guys you are already elected, relax!


    Other than this you could make it hand over fist I am told. My buddy left to become a mod a few years back though.
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    quote:
    Gambling By Computer is the intentional conducting or directly assisting in the conducting of any game, contest, lottery or contrivance whereby a person risks the loss of anything of value in order to realize a profit using any computer, computer system, computer software, or any server accessing the Internet, World Wide Web, or any part thereof.



    This is what should be a concern if any concern over gambling legislation. The current bill in the senate is nothing close this, but has people concerned over jail time when there is no criminal penalties included as of now for the gambler.
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