A South Florida sheriff wants to keep more than $ 1.2 million in cash, along with other items. The bounty was seized earlier this year during searches linked to an illegal investigation into the bookmaker that has yet to result in criminal charges.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel said Thursday the state attorney’s office informed four men that they are under investigation.
While none of them are currently indicted, court files show that Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony first attempted to seize the money on May 7, three weeks after searches at four locations. The jackpot included nine $ 1,000 poker chips and 25 gold coins valued at over $ 44,000.
Like all other US states, Florida has civil forfeiture laws that allow law enforcement to hold onto assets taken during searches or stops. According to FindLaw.com, Florida law only requires law enforcement agencies to “prove beyond doubt that the property is linked to a crime.”
Florida law enforcement officials confiscated more than $ 265 million in cash and personal property in 2018, according to the Orlando Sentinel article. This is more than any other state in the country.
According to the Justice Institute, state and federal law enforcement agencies have used civil forfeiture laws to demand more than $68.8 billion, according to the Justice Institute.
According to Tony’s petition, his office’s Organized Crime Unit received a tip of a Crime Stoppers call in December 2018. The message was that a man named William Cascioli was part of a group that ran an illegal network of gambling and money laundering in south Florida.
“The tipster further advised that members of the organization operate an illegal sports betting operation comprised of multiple partners and that the organization receives hundreds of thousands of dollars in proceeds weekly,” the complaint stated.
After the call, the sheriff’s officers began tracking down Cascioli. During that time, officials discovered that Cascioli was holding multiple meetings in Davie, a Broward County parish. He was also found picking up an unidentified white man with a backpack from Terminal 3 of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
The two drove off, but returned minutes later to the departure building of Terminal 1. There the unknown man got out of the car with his rucksack.
According to the airport, officers saw Cascioli go to a CVS pharmacy, where he bought two Yahtzee board games. Less than an hour later, he traveled to a FedEx facility to ship the Yahtzee games. One went to Texas and the other went to California.