Forfeited Assets Seized In Internet Gambling and Money Laundering Case Distributed
ALBANY, NEW YORK - United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian announced today the distribution to numerous law enforcement agencies of over $9.6 million dollars of forfeited assets seized during a multi-agency investigation of an international internet gambling operation. Joining U.S. Attorney Hartunian were United States Marshal David McNulty, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, Sr., Andrew W. Vale, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, IRS Supervisory Special Agent Thomas Fattorusso, and Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen.
The assets were forfeited in connection with guilty pleas entered in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of New York by Philip Gurian, Michele Lasso, and Alan Gould, each of whom pled guilty to Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments, and Jay Goldman, who pled guilty to Transmission of Wagering Information.
A total of $9,628,093.75 was distributed by the U.S. Marshal’s Service to the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Albany County District Attorney’s Office, the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office as follows:
Albany County Sheriff’s Office $4,662,393.21
Albany County District Attorney’s Office $862,468.22
Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office $363,833.85
Broward County Sheriff’s Office $104,946.22
All of the above law enforcement agencies participated in an investigation which revealed that the above-named defendants operated a large-scale illegal gambling business using internet websites which allowed bettors to place thousands of wagers from New York, Florida, Indiana, California, Texas, Kansas, Nevada, and elsewhere. Over a four year period, at least $10 million in illegal gambling proceeds was deposited into accounts in the names of sham corporations and accounts in Panama, Andorra, and the Cayman Islands. Gurian admitted having said that he was making $150,000 each day. Lasso admitted helping Gurian launder the gambling proceeds to conceal the source and control of the money, depositing at least $8 million. Gould admitted involvement in $3.8 million in transactions. Jay Goldman admitted accepting nearly 9,000 bets totaling over $1.5 million using foreign websites and eighteen different routers.
U.S. Attorney Hartunian said, "Stripping criminals of illegal profits deprives them of the fuel that sustains their illegitimate enterprises. In illegal gambling, money is both the way the crime is committed and the reason for committing it. No money = no crime. Forfeiting the proceeds and instrumentalities of crime puts the money to work for good – helping the victims of crime, funding community programs, and providing resources to be used to promote public safety. Equitable sharing redirects these illegal proceeds toward the local law enforcement agencies who work with their federal counterparts and United States Attorneys to dismantle large scale criminal enterprises like this one. Such sharing can enable a local police chief, sheriff, or district attorney to commit the necessary resources to conduct a complex, long term investigation that in the end enhances public safety."
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Sharpe.