Canadian Illegal Online Gambling Bust Results in 54 Charges

Published Monday, November 12, 2012 -

A recent Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigation into an online gambling ring in the nation’s capital Ottawa has resulted in the arrest of 21 individuals who are alleged to have run an illegal online credit betting operation.

The investigation called ‘Project Amethyst’, run by the RCMP also involved the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ottawa Police had been ongoing since September of 2010. Search warrants for 10 residences and businesses were executed in July and September. Reported to be a major bust in the world of illegal online gambling a spokesperson for the RCMP revealed the gambling web location did “millions of dollars” in sports wager transactions on the Olympic Games as well as other National League sporting events.

Benedetto Manasseri, Stephen Parrish and Gary Saikaley, three of the eighteen arrested during the raids have made bail and are on the street. These alleged illegal online gambling conspirators, all face serious charges including, “conspiracy to commit an indictable offense”, “recording or registering bets or selling a pool, engaging in bookmaking or pool-selling or being in the business or occupation of betting”, and “willfully and knowingly sending any message that conveys any information relating to bookmaking, pool-selling, betting or wagering.” The three defendants all had to put up $10,000 each plus other securities to obtain their freedom for the time being. The charges vary for the three individuals with Saikaley, who was convicted of bookmaking back in 2006, which resulted in a fine of $22,500.He and Benedetto Manasseri, are both facing 18 charges in the case. Additionally Saikaley has also been charged for his “involved in a criminal organization.” Manasseri has also been accused of “committing extortion by threats, accusations, menaces or violence.”

Stephen Parrish for his involvement in the illegal online gambling operation is facing 15 charges, which include, “recording or registering bets or selling a pool.” The suspects are facing a total of 54 charges and seventeen of those arrested have been released.

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