A man arrested with $570,000 started a months long investigation that culminated in many arrest this week. Investigators haven’t been in a position to determine the amount of money was allegedly being transported through the companies associated with the Figliomeni family’s crime spree following the arrests and convictions of the family’s senior members in the last week, but experts believe that casinos were utilized. This is a novel option given the amount of regulation in the gambling sector on a provincial scale.
The previous week, York Regional Police announced that they had detained eight men and a woman in a raid that uncovered the suspect boss, a 56-year-old named Angelo Figliomeni. Figliomeni is a member of the group. The group claims to have facilitated the laundering of over $70-million in casinos in the Toronto local casinos.
Police officers are available at all times at Ontario casinos. This was suggested to be adopted by British Columbia last year following an informative report that exposed the reality that the casinos in Vancouver had been “laundromats for the profit of organized criminals.” Due to the nature that the measures for security are provincial-based, Ontario has a distinct setting.
“Fortunately, with casino gambling, lots of that info is monitored and it helped us,” Detective Sergeant Carl Mattinen from the Special Operations Bureau, said in an interview.
The record breadcrumb trail made by cash transactions is strengthened with additional evidence from wiretaps through the investigation, dubbed Project Sindacato.
“Specifically, as it relates to the money laundering, they’re not as guarded,” compared to when talking blatant offenses, Det. Sgt. Mattinen stated, including “violence, or any decisions [that] they know are black-and-white illegal.”
As $70-million was cleared of casinos over five decades, the principal investigator says that the gambling device was as widespread as other methods used to cleanse the cash.
The Figliomeni crime syndicate was at the casinos every day. They did not have strawmen or straw men, however, the Det. Sergeant. Mattinen spoke of the suspects looking to bet. They recruited a central group of the group and would collect only a tiny portion of cash at casinos regardless of whether they were doing it deliberately or not claiming the remainder as legitimate wins.
This kind of gaming plan which is accompanied by large cash transactions, may be able to produce a report for the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FinTRAC) as stated by Matt McGuire, an expert in the field of financial crime and counter-money laundering.
“The casino was only a weak link in their whole strategy,” said Mr. McGuire, co-founder of a consultancy firm called the AML Shop, based in Toronto.
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In the case where Ontario casinos appeared to be a “poor choice” for the Figliomeni operation, he said they seemed to have succeeded by establishing other ventures, such as the fund company, which aren’t legally required to track or report irregular transactions.
“Similarly, they [allegedly] set up a charity, which is a hallmark of a rather professional money-laundering scheme,” Mr. McGuire said.
Salvatore Oliveti, one of the accused is a fundraiser who is a patron of SickKids Hospital, the founder and chairperson of Rev It Up. Erica Quintal, 30, is listed as being a member of the organization’s “sponsorship team.” Ms. Quintal was also arrested.
He is Mr. Oliveti, of Oakville is the Co-founder of Option B Solutions, an auto-loan firm that was discovered by authorities at the news conference on Thursday. in an interview with The Globe and Mail, Det. Sgt. Mattinen stated that the “high quantity of cash” was reported to have been deposited into Option B Solutions, but did not offer a few.
The authorities also confiscated 35 million dollars worth of assets as part of the raids. This included 11 gambling establishments that operated out of cafés and restaurants, as well as 23 luxurious cars and 27 residences. The people who may have rented their homes to the suspects are not removed from their homes.
Other companies like construction and property companies are subject to scrutiny by the police in the course of their investigations.