A 159-count indictment against eight individuals and two businesses has been unsealed in Cuyahoga County. Charges included racketeering for distributing illegal video slot machines to bars across the state, primarily in Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Ashland, Lake and Wayne counties. According to the office of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, those indicted profited to the tune of more than $20 million since 2008.
This is all part of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s recent efforts to rid the state of illegal gambling.
In the past year:
- Earlier this month a Wisconsin company pleaded guilty to gambling related charges and forfeited $35,000. Sentencing is scheduled later this week;
- In January, Martin Sarcyk was sentenced to 18 months in prison for distributing illegal slot machines to bars in several counties. Investigators seized over $1.1 million, including $977,550 that was stuffed in floor boards and ducts at Sarcyk’s house. Sarcyk had just ended probation from a 2013 conviction for operating Internet cafes when the raids took place;
- Kurt Immler of Wayne county was put on probation after pleading guilty to gambling charges and forfeiting $597,000;
- David Palinkas of Cuyahoga county pleaded guilty to gambling charges. He got a 6-month prison term that was suspended;
- And in the latest news, a Defiance grand jury has indicted the owners of a former Findlay sweepstakes café for operating illegal gambling houses throughout northern Ohio. One of the owners, Robert Dabish, had testified at least three times over the past couple of years before Ohio House and Senate committees in support of sweepstakes cafes.