“Dino the Casino” of Los Angeles Indicted for Statewide Illegal Gambling Business, Money Laundering, and Cocaine Distribution
Slot Machines Placed in Shops in Bakersfield, Ceres, Delano, Fresno, Lamont, Lodi. Modesto, Sacramento, and Elsewhere
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a 12-count indictment Thursday against Nive Hagay, 31, of Los Angeles, charging him with operating an illegal gambling business, money laundering, and cocaine distribution, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, between approximately July 2011 and November 2016, Hagay, who also went by the name “Dino the Casino,” placed video slot machines in small businesses from Bakersfield to Sacramento. These machines allegedly generated an estimated $1.9 million in cash per year, in violation of California state law. Hagay then laundered proceeds from the illegal gambling business through clothing companies in Los Angeles, as well as by making large purchases with the cash proceeds, such as a $202,000 cash transaction for a 2014 Audi R8. Finally, Hagay is charged with distributing a substance testing positive for cocaine.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Department of Justice – Bureau of Gambling Control. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew M. Yelovich is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Hagay faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the gambling charge; 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or fine of twice the value of the property involved in the transaction for one of the money laundering charges; 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine or a fine of twice the value of the property involved in the transaction for the remaining money laundering charges; and 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the cocaine distribution charge. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.