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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Press Release
A Third Indictment Has Been Issued in Closing Illegal Internet Casinos in Cuyahoga County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2013
 
11 Defendants and 8 Companies Indicted
 
CLEVELAND- Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced the indictment of eleven defendants and eight companies involved in illegal Internet casinos in Cuyahoga County. Today’s indictment is a result of the recent search warrants that were executed on six establishments located in the cities of Euclid, Cleveland, and Westlake.

Several individuals and companies named in today’s indictment are operating or working with owners of a multi-state Internet gambling syndicate known as "VS2" that is controlled by a computer server in the New Jersey headquarters of VS2 Worldwide Communications, LLC. VS2 takes twenty-five cents of every dollar gambled on these slot machines.

Their master computer tracks all wagers in New Jersey. In return, VS2 pays the necessary tribute to the politicians’ political funds in the various states and city councils, delays law enforcement by obstructive legal tactics with frivolous civil lawsuits, and otherwise provides attorney’s to defend the organization. If the local casino franchise owner does not pay in full and on time, VS2 disconnects their service and their casino is forced to close. In order to make the tracking of the millions of dollars in illegal gambling proceeds more difficult for law enforcement, VS2 operates largely with money orders and cash.

Prosecutor McGinty said, "There is no illegal casino that is safe from a search and seizure of its slot machines and illicit profits, nor are their operators safe from arrest in Cuyahoga County. Anyone who plans on continuing to commit felonies should have a lawyer and a toothbrush ready because they will need both."

To date, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office with assistance from New Jersey Law Enforcement Officials has seized approximately $84,000 in cash and $510,000 from various bank accounts.

The eleven defendants and eight companies were indicted on counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first degree felony; possessing criminal tools, a fifth degree felony; gambling, a misdemeanor of the first degree; gambling, a fifth degree felony; operating a gambling house, a misdemeanor of the first degree; and money laundering, a third degree felony.

The defendants are:
1) Phillip Cornick, 51, of Jackson, New Jersey
2) Richard Upchurch, 59, of Ramseur, North Carolina
3) Michael Koty, 50, of Bloomsbury, New Jersey
4) Georgia Buresti, 68, of Parma Heights
5) George Hasrouni, 42, of Stow
6) Sreyleak Ny, 30, of Parma
7) Robert Rogers, 40, of Westlake
8) Terry Fiala, 60, of Bay Village
9) George Georgekopoulos, 38, of Massillon
10) Pete Georgekopoulos, 41, of Massillon
11) Christos Karasarides, Jr, 47, of Canton
12) VS2 Worldwide Communications, LLC
13) P&E Technologies, Inc.
14) Elite Entertainment, Inc. dba VS2 Marketing Group
15) CKare Corp
16) Buresti Enterprises, Inc.
17) Hasrouni Investments, Inc. dba Emerald Isle
18) Black Diamond Tech, LLC dba Collinwood Cyber Café
19) Cyber Time Café Westlake, LLC dba Infinity 2

Illegal internet casinos will continue to be investigated.

In a joint effort, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and the following agencies have been involved in this ongoing investigation: Ohio Investigative Unit of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the Parma Heights Police Department, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshal Service, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Contact: Maria (Pinzone) Russo, Public Information Officer, (216) 698-2819, cell (216) 299-9326 or mrusso@prosecutor.cuyahogacounty.us

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Other info is at:  http://www.wsmv.com/story/21550956/9-defendants-and-5-companies-indicted
 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Cleveland-area Internet cafes and suppliers plead not guilty to gambling-related charges


internet cafes.jpg
Customers shown in this file photo at the Infinity Cafe choose among several dozen sweepstakes games. (Gus Chan, The Plain Dealer)
 
Peter Krouse, The Plain Dealer By Peter Krouse, The Plain Dealer
April 29, 2013 at 12:00 PM, updated April 29, 2013 at 12:11 PM
 CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Nine people and representatives for eight businesses connected to Internet cafes in Cuyahoga County pleaded not guilty this morning to gambling-related crimes.

The businesses include local internet cafes Emerald Isle in Euclid and Collinwood Cyber Cafe in Cleveland, as well as two New Jersery firms, software supplier VS2 Worldwide Communications and hardware supplier P&E Technologies.

Also entering not guilty pleas were, Akron-based Elite Entertainment, Canton-based CKare Corp. and Parma Heights-based Buresti Enterprises, all of which serve Internet cafes in Northeast Ohio.

Those arraigned before Common Pleas Judge Deena Calabrese were named earlier this month in an indictment containing charges of money laundering, conspiracy to engage in corrupt activity, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and possession of criminal tools.

Infinity 2, an Internet caf in Westlake, and its two owners will be arraigned at a later date.

County Prosecutors Timothy J. McGinty has accused VS2 of being a "multi-state Internet gambling syndicate" and has vowed to shut down the cafes, which he considers to be illegal gambling parlors.

Federal, state and local police raided six Internet cafes in Cuyahoga County on April 17, seizing video terminals and cash while searching for evidence of illegal gambling and other criminal activity.

The cafes contend they are legitimate businesses that sell internet and phone service to people who are then offered the chance to play slots-like computer games.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has also launched a special state unit to investigate the cafes.

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Three Internet cafes in Cuyahoga County among those indicted on gambling-related charges

Full article found at: 
http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2013/04/three_internet_cafes_in_cuyahoga.htmlBy    Peter Krouse, The Plain Dealer  The Plain Dealer - updated April 18, 2013 at 8:11 PM

 

Photo:  Law enforcement officials raid Players, an internet cafe, Wednesday in Euclid. Six cafes in Northeast Ohio were raided with machines confiscated and assets seized. John Kuntz, The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cuyahoga County grand jury indicted 11 people and eight companies connected with Internet cafes Thursday, accusing them of assorted gambling-related crimes.

The indictment came a day after federal authorities, along with state and local police, raided six cafes in Cleveland Euclid and Westlake, seizing video terminals and cash while searching for evidence of illegal gambling and other criminal activity.

Three of the raided cafes and their operators are among those charged in the 146-page indictment, which includes charges of money laundering, conspiracy to engage in corrupt activity, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and possession of criminal tools.

Indicted are Sreyleak Ny, 30, of Parma, who operates Black Diamond Tech, which does business as Collinwood Cyber Cafe; Robert Rogers, 40, of Westlake and Terry Fiala, 60, of Bay village, who operate Cyber Time Cafe Westlake, which does business as as Infinity 2; and George Hasrouni, 42, of Stow, who operates Hasrouni Investments, which does business as Emerald Isle; George Buresti, 68, of Parma Heights; George Georgekopolous, 38, of Massillon; Pete Georgekopolous, 41, of Massillon; and Christos Karasarides Jr., 47, of Canton.

McGinty's news release refers to VS2 as a "multi-state Internet gambling syndicate" that "pays the necessary tribute to politicians' political funds in the various states and city councils," engages in obstructive legal tactics and provides lawyers to defend the organization.

Indicted along with VS2 and hardware supplier P&E Technologies, also of New Jersey, are VS2 operators Phillip Cornick, 51, of Jackson, N.J., and Richard Upchurch, 59, of Ramseur, N.C.; and VS2 representative Michael Koty, 50, of Bloomsbury, N.J.; Elite Entertainment, CKare Corp., and Buresti Enterprises. Inc.

Supporters say the cafes are legitimate businesses that sell Internet or phone time and, as a sweetener, offer customers a chance to win money on computerized games resembling those on slot machines. Critics, including Horseshoe owner Rock Ohio Caesars, say the storefront parlors are cover for unregulated and illegal gambling.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Update on Georgekopoulos Court Dates

Monday, 4/29/13 is the next court date in this matter. 

If you want to keep up on the charges you can go to the Court site via direct link and just put in their names: 
http://cpdocket.cp.cuyahogacounty.us/

 

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