It is common practice during police raids around the US that money and other illegal gambling paraphernalia are seized during raids. People have long wondered where exactly all of that seized money goes.
In Pennsylvania, the answer comes in the form of Luzerne County Court Administrator William T. Sharkey Sr. He was indicted and will plead guilty on charges that he stole over $70,000 in gambling money that had been seized.
The way he ran the scam was to have county judges sign forfeiture orders for the funds. Then, instead of transferring the money into the County Treasurers Office, he re-routed it for his personal use. The money was also never filed into the court records.
Sharkey has already worked out a plea agreement with prosecutors in which he will repay all of the money that he illegally stole. That may come at the expense of his house, car, and state pension fund. He still faces up to ten years in prison as well.
The indictment of Sharkey will certainly raise eyebrows around the country. For years officers have been seizing money from gambling raids. Sometimes authorities take all the money in someone’s house when they make arrests. Questions have been raised before as to where that money has gone.
Gambling Operation At The Forefront Of Another Mafia Bust
In the state of New York, it has become commonplace to have police bust up mafia operations. It occurred again on Wednesday when thirteen alleged members of the Genovese crime family were charged with various crimes.
Gambling, as it is in most mafia cases, was at the forefront of the charges. The indictment that was unsealed refers to the “operation of illegal gambling businesses.” The men were also charged with extortion, narcotics trafficking, and loansharking.
Of the thirteen people that were charged, six of them were arrested early Wednesday morning. The other seven were either in the process of turning themselves in or were already in custody from other charges.
Among the arrests was a former acting boss for the Genovese crime family. Several of his soldiers were also picked up in the raid. Thomas Tassiello, another Genovese family member was charged in a separate indictment on charges of extortion and racketeering.
The sting stems from the crime family shaking down local businesses, mainly bartending school owners in both Jersey City and Manhattan. Genovese soldiers reportedly took over the businesses after the owners could make their payments on loansharking debts.