Florida Sheriff Needs $1M+ Seized from Unlawful Playing Investigation


Posted on: December 25, 2021, 01:48h. 

Final up to date on: December 25, 2021, 02:38h.

A sheriff in South Florida needs to retain greater than $1.2 million in money, together with different objects. The bounty was seized earlier this 12 months throughout searches tied to an unlawful bookmaking investigation that has but to supply any prison expenses.

Sheriff Gregory Tony
Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony has filed a petition within the Florida county’s courts to grab greater than $1.2 million in property by the state’s civil forfeiture legal guidelines. Tony’s petition claims the cash and different property had been a part of an unlawful playing ring that’s beneath investigation. (Picture: Florida Sheriffs Affiliation)

The South Florida Solar Sentinel reported Thursday that the Workplace of the Statewide Prosecutor has instructed 4 males they’re beneath investigation. Whereas none at present have been indicted, courtroom data present Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony first sought to grab the cash on Could 7, three weeks after searches at 4 places. The haul included 9 $1,000 poker chips and 25 gold cash with an estimated worth of greater than $44,000.

Tony then filed an amended petition on Aug. 23.

Like all different US states, Florida has civil forfeiture statutes that permit legislation enforcement to maintain property taken throughout searches or stops. In accordance with FindLaw.com, Florida’s statute solely requires that legislation enforcement show “past an affordable doubt that the property is linked to against the law.”

In accordance with an Orlando Sentinel article, Florida legislation enforcement officers seized greater than $265 million in money and private property in 2018. That was greater than another state within the nation.

In accordance with the Institute for Justice, state and federal legislation enforcement businesses have used civil forfeiture legal guidelines to assert greater than $68.8 billion, in keeping with the Institute for Justice.

Investigation Began Three Years In the past

In accordance with Tony’s petition, his workplace’s Organized Crime Unit received a tip from a Crime Stoppers name in December 2018. The message was {that a} man named William Cascioli was a part of a bunch working an unlawful playing and cash laundering ring in South Florida.

“The tipster additional suggested that members of the group function an unlawful sports activities betting operation comprised of a number of companions and that the group receives a whole lot of 1000’s of {dollars} in proceeds weekly,” the criticism acknowledged.

After the decision, sheriff’s officers started to trace Cascioli. Throughout that point, the officers famous Cascioli held a number of conferences in Davie, a Broward County group. He was additionally discovered choosing up an unidentified white male with a backpack from Terminal 3 of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Worldwide Airport. The 2 drove off, however returned minutes later to the Terminal 1 departure constructing. There, the unknown male exited the automotive with the backpack.

From the airport, the civil forfeiture petition says officers noticed Cascioli go to a CVS Pharmacy, the place he bought two Yahtzee board video games. Lower than an hour later, he went to a FedEx location to ship the Yahtzee video games. One went to Texas and the opposite to California.

Whereas according to the clerk, Cascioli was overheard using his mobile gadget speaking with a person he known as ‘Stevie Boy’ and discussing the purpose spreads, odds on the Tremendous Bowl, and horse racing,” the criticism states.

FedEx officers would open the containers as a part of the corporate’s insurance policies towards transport unlawful contraband. They discovered greater than $200,000 in money in each Yahtzee containers.

That cash was ultimately seized, and additional investigation discovered that the unlawful bookmaking ring was allegedly prevalent in Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Seashore, Collier, and Martin counties.

Civil Forfeiture Try Fought

The Broward County Sheriff’s Workplace additionally alleges the ring used a web site, betbigcity.ag, to run its operation, with an account established by Cascioli. The criticism states that 23 brokers of the ring had accounts, with 115 purchasers utilizing the positioning.

This previous April, the sheriff’s workplace filed for search warrants for Cascioli’s Palm Seashore County house and for residences of three different individuals, Todd Schettino, Harris Steinhart, and Martin Zarcadoolas. Warrants had been additionally filed for accounts related to Zarcadoolas, Cascioli, and Voehringer Realty LLC.

The sheriff’s petition alleges that Zarcadoolas was a high-ranking member of the group, and accounts in his identify had been used to “conceal the proceeds of their unlawful bookmaking exercise.”

Among the many property seized from Zarcadoolas included the gold cash and poker chips, in addition to greater than $183,000 from a closet protected at his residence. Legislation enforcement additionally confiscated a number of digital units, similar to a MacBook, a Chromebook, iPads, and cell telephones, and males’s Breitling, Cartier, and Rolex watches.

Financial institution seizures from Zarcadoolas included practically $600,000 from an account at Chase Financial institution, and greater than $165,000 from a Financial institution of America account.

Zarcadoolas has denied his involvement within the unlawful playing ring. Court docket paperwork present he has fought efforts to have his possessions seized by civil forfeiture.

“The seizing legislation enforcement company effectuated an unconstitutional search of Zarcadoolas’ house in violation of the Fourth Modification to the Florida Structure and the USA Structure,” Zarcadoolas’ response to the amended criticism states.

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