Investigators with the York Regional Police Organized Crime and Intelligence Bureau – Traditional Organized Crime Task Force, along with investigators from the Canada Revenue Agency, the Ontario Provincial Police, Peel Regional Police, Canada Border Services and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) have charged nine people and seized more than $35 million in proceeds of crime in an illegal gaming investigation named Project Sindacato.

An investigation into the Figliomeni organized crime group began in early 2018, with a focus on its participation in a criminal organization, money laundering, loan sharking and illegal gaming. During the course of the investigation, intelligence gathered indicated that the criminal organization was acting under the direction of Angelo FIGLIOMENI. Its criminal activities included illegal gaming operations in the City of Vaughan as well as an extensive money laundering system to hide the immense profitability from these activities.

Beginning on Friday, July 12, 2019, with the assistance of the Toronto Police Service, Halton Regional Police Service, Durham Regional Police, Hamilton Police Service, Waterloo Regional Police, Barrie Police Service, Brantford Police Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 48 warrants at residences, businesses and cafes were executed across the Greater Toronto Area. As a result of the search warrants, nine people were taken into custody and more than $35 million dollars in offence-related property and proceeds of crime has been seized. Some of the property seized includes more than $1 million in currency, 27 mafia-owned homes and 23 high-end luxury vehicles.

“These arrests signify the fall of power for the most significant ‘Ndrangheta crime family operating in York Region,” said Chief Eric Jolliffe. “Over the past 18 months, we have invested heavily, using our finest and most highly-trained investigators to bring an end to this family’s international illegal gaming and money-laundering activities. We know that violence has occurred as a result of their activities and that our community is a safer place following these arrests and charges.”

The investigation is ongoing.

York Regional Police Article: SINDACATO

Counterfeit Trend Alert

BOLO – Cage Scam – Suspects using Sleight of Hand during Cash Transactions

There have been recent reports of a sleight of hand team hitting several casinos in many provinces including BC, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec. It is believed this is a large and skilled team of scammers with different individuals making their way across the country.

The suspects will approach a cage window and request to exchange lower denomination bills to higher denomination bills (for example; $50 bills to $100 bills) or request to exchange US currency to Canadian currency. After the money has been exchanged, the scammer will then state he no longer wants to exchange the money, handing back the bills, and retrieving the original exchanged cash. Alternatively, the scammer will claim to want to alter the transaction, such as asking for a different denomination of bills, or exchange US for Canadian cash. He will then return the money received to the cashier. The bills given back to the cashier are often fanned by the suspect; however the suspect has already ‘palmed’ some of the bills. Yet another version of this scam is for the scammer to claim to have been short changed on the transaction.

Proper cage procedures; counting out each exchange of money, and calling Surveillance to confirm any transaction errors claimed by a guest will help protect cashiers from this scam.

At least one report stated the suspects were believed to be of European descent and may be in Canada on travel visas. Another report described a suspect as looking to be Middle Eastern who did not or perhaps pretended not to speak English very well.
Below are two images of one of the suspects.

See the following hyperlink for a YouTube video with an example of the scam. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN27hTrltf0&feature=share


Gambling ring craps out

The Italian car wash boys got soaked Friday for running a lucrative betting ring.

The boss, the heavy and an extortion artist all copped guilty pleas relating to the illegal betting websites, which netted nearly $850,000 between February and July 2012.

Benedetto “Benny” Manasseri, 50, Stephen Parrish, 36, and Domenico Arecchi, 48 were arrested as part of Project Amethyst, which targeted organized crime and saw 21 people arrested.

Manasseri — known as the Car Wash Boy to members of another illegal betting group with whom he had a business understanding — was the boss.

A bettor told cops Manasseri was “top of the organization,” according to an OPP investigator’s report.

The bettor said he would call Manasseri if he ever had trouble collecting his winnings — and when Manasseri gave the “word,” the bettor got paid.

For instance, within 24 hours of a call to Manasseri in April 2012, the bettor was able to get his cash from a contact at the organization’s car wash.

Virtually no sporting event was off-limits to would-be punters.

The famous 2012 boxing bout between Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau attracted interest; the gang told one anxious bettor they’d look into posting odds for the match.

When the bettors lost and didn’t make good, they got to meet Parrish.

“See if he has $$ for us,” one of the managers texted Parrish about a slow payer.

Parrish, however, did not appear to be a knee-jerk legbreaker.

“He said by the first week of the month, you want me to bug him again now?” Parrish asked.

“Ya please,” came the reply.

“(The debtor) saw me today as promised so u can back off a bit till further notice (sic),” Parrish responded later.

The debtor told police he talked to “Steve” every two weeks as he slowly settled up.

Arecchi was also involved in the ring, but he had an extortion racket on the side.

He took a strip club owner for over $22,000 between February and March 2012, telling the peeler bar boss it was protection from “Toronto Bikers.”

It wasn’t.

Sentencing dates will be set in August; Crown prosecutor Julie Scott told the judge the case is unusual.

“This might be the first gaming (criminal organization) case in the country,” she said.

Another man, Gary Saikaley, admitted in April to managing the betting ring and got 18 months in jail.

From The Ottawa Sun. Find the article here.