“Dino the Casino” of Los Angeles Pleads Guilty to Operating Statewide Illegal Gambling Business and Distributing Cocaine
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Nive Hagay, 31, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty today to conducting an illegal gambling business and distributing cocaine, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, starting in 2008 until November 2016, Hagay, who also went by the name “Dino the Casino,” installed and maintained video slot machines in smoke shops, convenience stores and other small businesses from Bakersfield to Sacramento. Hagay then laundered the 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, on October 15, 2016, at a smoke shop in Sacramento, Hagay sold approximately one ounce of a mixture that tested positively for cocaine. The sale was recorded, and in the video, Hagay is seen pulling the bag of the substance from his pocket and taking the resulting money. In the recording, he discusses the quality of the cocaine, describes where he got it and offers to get more and of higher quality in the future.
As a part of his plea agreement, Hagay has agreed to forfeit assets acquired from proceeds of the illegal gambling business, including a 2010 Aston Martin Rapide, a 2016 Mercedes Benz AMG GT, several Ducati motorcycles, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash seized from his home, the illegal slot machines, and various bank accounts.
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.
Hagay is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. on August 24, 2017. Hagay faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the illegal gambling offense and 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the cocaine distribution charge. The actual sentence, however, will 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.