Canadian casino mogul held in a Dominican jail
Santo Domingo.- After an interrogation of more than two hours National District prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reynoso on Monday held Canada national Antonio Carbone, one of the executives of Dream Casinos Corporation in detention, charged with the attempted murder against lawyer Fernando Arturo Baez.
National Investigations Dept. (DNI) agents escorted the suspect to Reynoso’s office past the 2:55pm, after his arrest Sunday while waiting for a flight to Canada at Punta Cana airport.
Carbone and his brother Francesco, creators of an online betting scheme which prompted billionaire Michael DeGroote to invest US$112 million in Dominican Republic from 2010 to 2014, had been arrested on weapons charges in Canada.
It is not the first time that Antonio Carbone gets handcuffed. According to the CBC and Globe and Mail, both Carbones had pleaded guilty to the weapons charges in Toronto in July 2011, as the investments in Dominican Republic grew. They were sentenced to 60 days in prison.
The weapons were found by police during a search of the brothers’ tobacco business in 2009, as part of a tax evasion probe.
The tobacco business as well as one of house paints, Canada media reported, the brothers had been sought for reneging on bank loans and cooking the books.
In an interview for The Globe and Mail, Antonio Carbone said they bought the guns for protection in view of alleged death threats. “That was a matter of business; we have always been men of business, very aggressive.”
81-year Canadian investor defrauded in Dominican casino deal
Things did not turn out as planned for a Canadian who invested in Dominican casinos. According to the Dominican Republic Tax Agency (DGII), 28,859 lottery establishments and 1,822 sports betting shops operate legally here, which would mean Dominicans gamble a lot. Together with casinos already in operation, this attracted the Canadian multi-millionaire investor, 81-year old Michael DeGroote, together with his partners, an old friend Andrew Pajak and the brothers Francesco and Antonio Carbone to invest in Dominican casino operations. Media reports highlight how the business went sour, not because Dominicans were gambling less, but because of differences and background of the partners. The casino deal also included operations in Jamaica.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation says that the gambling venture was headed by three businessmen with ties to organized crime, and is now locked in an international fight over Caribbean casinos with links to one of Canada’s most feared Mafia clans.
CBC and The Globe and Mail have investigated the case for a year, writing that the companies known as the Dream Group have now descended into a bitter conflict of alleged murder plots, threats, armed robbery and bribery allegations, featuring an underworld roster right up to the late Montreal godfather Vito Rizzuto.
Dominican employees were caught in the middle. According to the DGII, the company DeGroote bankrolled, called Dream, has 57 sport betting shops and 51 lottery outlets. In addition, one of the Dream casinos has been seized due to debts and the employees complain they have not been paid.
Dream casinos are located in Punta Cana, La Romana and Puerto Plata: the Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana, Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa, Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa, Dream Casino Dominicus, and Dream Casino Marien in Puerto Plata.
The Jamaica Observer reports that DeGroote initially agreed to put up US$5 million in December 2010 and by May 2012, the billionaire’s total underwriting of the Caribbean operations stood at US$111.9 million. It adds that The Dream Group was making good on its loans, but in May 2012, the payments to DeGroote stopped. In October of that year, DeGroote sued to get access to the company’s books alleging the Carbones and Pajak had misappropriated portions of the funds.
The case was taken to the courts in Canada. In a development on 26 January, National District Prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reynoso detained one of the executives of Dream Casinos Corporation, Antonio Carbone, accusing him of the attempted murder of lawyer Fernando Arturo Baez Guerrero. She said that she would be asking for him to be remanded in prison.
National Investigation Department (DNI) agents arrested Carbone at Punta Cana airport on Sunday, 25 January, as he was planning to board a flight to Canada.
Source: DR1, Listindiario
January 27, 2015
UPDATE (Jan 28, 2015): One-year remand demanded for Canadian casino operator
National District Prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reynoso has asked for one year’s remand in jail for the manager of Dream Casino Corporation, Antonio Carbone, who is accused of attempted murder of the company’s administrator, lawyer Fernando Arturo Baez Guerrero.
Carbone is in detention at the Palace of Justice in Santo Domingo. The remand hearing will be held today, Wednesday 28 or tomorrow, Thursday 29 January 2015 and Reynoso maintains that Antonio Carbone and his brother, Francesco Carbone, threatened to kill Baez Guerrero on several occasions and met with Andres Khan and Juan Isidro Infante Sepulveda to carry out the deed.
The prosecutor said that this type of crime is not usual in the country as it is typical of organized crime gangs, saying that they were worse than drug gangs as they were like the mafia with their own structures that challenge the very security of a country, just as used to happen in Italy.
She went on to say that the Carbone brothers had chosen two people to murder Baez Guerrero, and they had gone to Baez Guerrero’s home in Los Cacicazgos area of Santo Domingo last month. Once they arrived they followed Baez Guerrero in his Jaguar car, and threw a firebomb into his vehicle, which set it on fire. Baez Guerrero called 911 but by the time the authorities arrived, the car was totally destroyed.
Source: DR1, Lisitndiario
Category: DR News |