Florida Sheriff Seeks Civil Forfeiture of $1M+ Seized in Illegal Gambling Probe
Posted on: December twenty five, 2021, 01:48h.
Previous updated on: December 25, 2021, 02:38h.
A sheriff in South Florida wants to retain a lot more than $one.2 million in cash, alongside with other things. The bounty was seized earlier this 12 months in the course of searches tied to an illegal bookmaking investigation that has yet to create any felony fees.
The South Florida Sunshine Sentinel noted Thursday that the Place of work of the Statewide Prosecutor has advised 4 guys they are under investigation. Even though none at the moment have been indicted, court documents display Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony very first sought to seize the cash on May seven, 3 months following searches at 4 spots. The haul integrated 9 $1,000 poker chips and 25 gold cash with an estimated worth of a lot more than $forty four,000.
Tony then submitted an amended petition on Aug. 23.
Like all other US states, Florida has civil forfeiture statutes that allow law enforcement to maintain property taken in the course of lookups or stops. According to FindLaw.com, Florida’s statute only demands that law enforcement prove “beyond a sensible question that the residence is linked to a crime.”
According to an Orlando Sentinel article, Florida law enforcement officers seized more than $265 million in cash and private residence in 2018. That was far more than any other state in the region.
According to the Institute for Justice, condition and federal law enforcement agencies have used civil forfeiture rules to claim far more than $sixty eight.eight billion, according to the Institute for Justice.
Investigation Began Three Many years In the past
According to Tony’s petition, his office’s Organized Crime Unit obtained a idea from a Criminal offense Stoppers call in December 2018. The message was that a guy named William Cascioli was component of a team running an unlawful gambling and funds laundering ring in South Florida.
“The tipster further recommended that customers of the firm function an illegal sports activities betting operation comprised of multiple companions and that the group receives hundreds of countless numbers of dollars in proceeds weekly,” the grievance stated.
Right after the contact, sheriff’s officers commenced to monitor Cascioli. For the duration of that time, the officers famous Cascioli held many conferences in Davie, a Broward County neighborhood. He was also discovered finding up an unknown white male with a backpack from Terminal three of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Intercontinental Airport. The two drove off, but returned minutes later on to the Terminal 1 departure constructing. There, the mysterious male exited the automobile with the backpack.
From the airport, the civil forfeiture petition suggests officers observed Cascioli go to a CVS Pharmacy, in which he acquired two Yahtzee board game titles. Less than an hour later, he went to a FedEx location to ship the Yahtzee games. One particular went to Texas and the other to California.
Whilst in line with the clerk, Cascioli was overheard utilizing his mobile system speaking with an person he referred to as ‘Stevie Boy’ and talking about the point spreads, odds on the Super Bowl, and horse racing,” the grievance states.
FedEx officers would open up the containers as portion of the company’s guidelines towards delivery unlawful contraband. They discovered a lot more than $200,000 in funds in both Yahtzee boxes.
That money was at some point seized, and additional investigation found that the unlawful bookmaking ring was allegedly prevalent in Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Seaside, Collier, and Martin counties.
Civil Forfeiture Endeavor Fought
The Broward County Sheriff’s Workplace also alleges the ring used a internet site, betbigcity.ag, to operate its operation, with an account proven by Cascioli. The grievance states that 23 agents of the ring had accounts, with 115 consumers making use of the website.
This past April, the sheriff’s workplace submitted for research warrants for Cascioli’s Palm Seashore County home and for residences of a few other individuals, Todd Schettino, Harris Steinhart, and Martin Zarcadoolas. Warrants had been also filed for accounts connected to Zarcadoolas, Cascioli, and Voehringer Realty LLC.
The sheriff’s petition alleges that Zarcadoolas was a substantial-ranking member of the organization, and accounts in his name ended up utilized to “conceal the proceeds of their unlawful bookmaking activity.”
Between the home seized from Zarcadoolas included the gold cash and poker chips, as properly as more than $183,000 from a closet risk-free at his residence. Legislation enforcement also confiscated numerous digital units, these kinds of as a MacBook, a Chromebook, iPads, and mobile phones, and men’s Breitling, Cartier, and Rolex watches.
Lender seizures from Zarcadoolas provided nearly $600,000 from an account at Chase Financial institution, and more than $165,000 from a Bank of The usa account.
Zarcadoolas has denied his involvement in the unlawful gambling ring. Court docket documents present he has fought endeavours to have his belongings seized via civil forfeiture.
“The seizing regulation enforcement company effectuated an unconstitutional search of Zarcadoolas’ property in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Florida Structure and the United States Constitution,” Zarcadoolas’ reaction to the amended grievance states.