Cuyahoga County: Indictments for illegal Internet cafes

6:34 PM, May 30, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Ten people and seven companies were indicted Wednesday for alleged involvement in illegal Internet Sweepstakes Cafes operations in Cuyahoga County.

The ten defendants and seven companies were indicted on counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity; conspiracy; gambling; operating a gambling house; and money laundering.

Locally they are from Canton, Hinckley, Stow, North Royalton, and Parma Heights.

The indictments list:

  • Phillip Cornick, 47, of Jackson, New Jersey
  • Edward Kaba, 45, of Toms River, New Jersey
  • Richard Upchurch, 56, of Ramseur, North Carolina
  • George Georgekopoulos, 37, of Hinckley
  • Pete Georgekopoulos, 39, of Stow
  • Christos Karasarides, Jr, 46, of Canton
  • Christopher Maggiore, 46, of Canton
  • James Watson, 61, of Canton
  • Martin Sarcyk, 61, of North Royalton
  • Neil Sarcyk, 25, of Parma Heights
  • VS2 Worldwide Communications, LLC.
  • P&E Technologies, Inc.
  • Elite Entertainment, Inc. DBA VS2 Marketing Group
  • Cyber Cov, LLC
  • CKare Corp
  • CMKare LLC
  • Union Vending  

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason said the individuals and companies named in the indictment are operating, or working in close cooperation with the owners of an intricate internet gambling system known as "VS2" that is controlled by a computer server in the New Jersey headquarters of VS2 Worldwide Communications, LLC.

The Ohio Investigative Unit of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, working with the U.S. Secret Service, have identified the principal operators and account holders of the VS2 gaming system as Phillip Cornick, Edward Kaba, and Richard Upchurch.

Over the last four years, these individuals have perpetuated the expansion of their VS2 gaming system into Ohio with the assistance of Ohio-based distributors and marketers of the system:

These people convinced many small business owners in Cuyahoga County that VS2 internet café gaming system operates as "sweepstakes," which are not illegal and unregulated in Ohio.

The ten defendants and seven companies were indicted on counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity; conspiracy; gambling; operating a gambling house; and money laundering.

"We are working hard with partners like Prosecutor Mason to crack down on illegal internet cafes in Ohio," said Attorney General DeWine.

"These businesses, hundreds across Ohio, are totally unregulated and can be a real consumer rip-off."

Mason said, "The end result is exactly what the members of the criminal enterprise intended - a complicated and elaborate, layered web of related companies dispersing and distributing money to each other with hopes of never being caught. The days of gambling with the law have come to a screeching halt."

WKYC-TV

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