Gambling Ring Funds Going Back to Law Enforcement in Albany, Saratoga Counties
The spoils of crime, going to benefit local law enforcement agencies. U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian announced Wednesday, that about $6 million will be going to Albany and Saratoga Counties. As Time Warner Cable News' Tamara Lindstrom explains, that money is coming from the profits of a multi-million dollar internet gambling case that spanned the globe, and the Capital Region.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- They say that crime doesn't pay. But when it comes to fighting crime, someone's got to ante up.
"The name of the game is, you hope at the end of a major investigation, you'll be able to grab funds to basically replace the funds you've expended on that investigation," said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.
This time, it's the criminals who are footing the bill.
"We are here to announce the distribution to the numerous law enforcement agencies of over $9 million if forfeited assets," said U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian.
The haul comes from the 2013 bust of an illegal online gambling ring run by Philip Gurian, Michele Lasso and Alan Gould. Several arrests were made locally, including two Albany County Jail officers.
"Their business was so profitable, that in a phone call intercepted pursuant to a federal wire tap order, Gurian said that he was making $150,000 a day,” Hartunian said.
“Over a year period, at least $10 million in illegal gambling proceeds was deposited into accounts in the names of sham corporations in Panama, Andorra, and the Cayman Islands."
In all, $9.6 million went to law enforcement agencies who helped with the investigation. More than $5 million to Albany County Sheriff's and District Attorney's Offices, $363,000 to Saratoga County District Attorney and $103,000 to Broward County Sheriff’s offices. The FBI and IRS took the rest.
Apple said the funds are crucial to fighting crime.
"Times have been tough. So you don't have the money to buy certain equipment that you need to do your operations,” Apple said. “So this is going to help us reach those goals and help us continue to investigate crime and help us with surveillance equipment and help us with some vehicles and keep things off the county budget."