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Russian mob at center of elite gambling ring, US says Alleged scheme touched worlds of art, nyc gambling center crossword NEW YORK — It is a case teaming with colorful characters: a reputed Russian mob boss once accused in an Olympic scandal, a wealthy art world impresario who hung out with actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and a woman named Molly Bloom who gained a celebrity following by hosting them at high-stakes poker games.
US authorities allege nyc gambling center crossword had roles in a sprawling scheme by two related Russian-American organized crime enterprises.
The case against more than 30 defendants, announced last week by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, illustrates the insatiable appetite for sports betting around the globe — and the enormous potential for illicit profits.
The steep rise in wealth among the upper class in the former Soviet Nyc gambling center crossword has driven that potential to new heights, said Mark Galeotti, a Russian lines gambling college baseball crime expert at New York University.
The games attracted professional athletes, Hollywood luminaries, and business executives, some who ran up debts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Authorities did not name the players.
But press reports linked actors such as DiCaprio and Ben Affleck to the games run in Los Angeles by Bloom.
A spokesman for both film stars declined to comment on nyc gambling center crossword they had cooperated with authorities.
Playing poker is not a crime, but it is illegal to profit by promoting it.
FBI agents Tuesday raided his gallery on Madison Avenue — a seller of works by Chagall, Dali, Degas, Monet, Matisse, and Warhol — and seized computers and records.
Bloom, 34, moved zeus gambling poker games from Los Angeles to New York to cater to Wall Street financiers, prosecutors said.
Her lawyer at the time said she decided give up poker for her own safety.
Both Nahmad and Bloom pleaded not guilty Friday more info a federal courtroom in Manhattan that could barely accommodate the defendants.
She entered her plea from a back row.
She and Nahmad are free on bail.
A judge has scheduled a trial for the summer of 2014.
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