By Thomas A. Nagy
Tenth in a Series
United States Code section 18, Chapter 96 was written to address crimes typical of organizations operating syndicates. A common misconception is that organized crime syndicates equate to a mafia, whether that is primarily Russian, Jewish, Italian, Chinese, or Japanese or any other ethnicity.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, known as the RICO Act, applies to much more than mafia organizations. Corporations are primary candidates for investigations under the RICO Act. General Motors faces potential sanctions and stiff penalties for allowing starter problems in some cars to kill at least eleven people before admitting a problem existed. Like Ford Motor Company decades before, GM allowed production of potentially deadly cars to roll on.
Corporations, licensed by governments to exist perpetually, do kill people. Unlike human beings, corporations acting as legal “persons” are immune from a death penalty for serial murder. This is wrong. Casinos are corporations.
According to a document signed by Jeffrey Lea Yarnall while a floor supervisor at New York-New York Hotel and Casino, a dealer cheating for or against a customer-player is “not that hard to do.”
Specifically, Yarnall wrote in a “voluntary witness statement” that a roulette dealer might have been placing the ball on specific numbers to allow one particular bettor to win. “Not that hard to do,” Yarnall asserted; Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) enforcement agents and NY-NY Casino management staff accepted this without alarm or question.
The implications of this are serious.
Yarnall made this assertion in 2005. Senior agents of the NGCB, casino management and LVMPD officers all accepted his words as if true. Based on what followed, one might well assume that this is accepted and known among gaming officials. Semi-skilled roulette dealers are able to control exactly upon which number the ball lands. Dealers are able to control who wins and who loses at roulette. “Not that hard to do.”
If dealers favor a player, they are likely to be accused of cheating and conspiracy to cheat at gaming. When dealers ensure that no one wins except the house, by directing a roulette ball on a number with no bets, everyone looks the other way.
The myth that “organized crime” has left Las Vegas to cleanly operating casino corporations brings more than 40 million visitors to Sin City every year. Billions of dollars are left behind, most of this in corporate casino accounts. No one seems to suspect that “family friendly” casinos are criminal organizations that routinely cheat players at roulette.
According to the RICO Act it takes two people and two specific crimes on a certain list to make a case for investigation and prosecution. Gambling crimes are included in the long list of potential crimes to which RICO applies. Obstruction of Justice is another prosecutable crime subject to RICO Act scrutiny. Whenever two or more people engage in commission of these crimes a RICO Act case can be made, and we certainly have that when casino management condones dealers cheating players.
The ugliness spills over to the NGCB enforcement agents, always overeager to accuse players of cheating and conspiracy to cheat, or even robbery. Each charge is subject to RICO Act investigation. One question raised is how high up the Control Board this behavior
reaches. What do the NGCB board of directors know? Was exposure of a Yarnall-related arrest, the one from which the above quote is taken,
have anything to do with subsequent resignation of the Chairman last June? (See: http://jrshenkertrust.
As an organization, the NGCB is also subject to the same RICO Act that United States Justice Department are. A corrupt organization is a corrupt organization no matter what license it operates under. If memory serves, the Godfather series of movies depicted the transition from illicit organizations to government sanctioned corporations. Behavior has not changed. More lawyers have been added within those corrupt organizations, giving the illusion of decency and adherence to law.
Yes, and Las Vegas is now a “family friendly” benign destination like Disney World in Florida.
The arrest of Jason R. Turner-Shenker by NGCB agents in April 2005 was a step towards his eventual death in September of the same year. He
was murdered less than twelve hours after he plead not guilty to charges initiated with the written statement made by J. L. Yarnall at New York-New York Casino. At least two if not a third corrupt organization participated in that arrest. Yarnall knew Jason’s killer. Yarnall was also acquainted with Jason’s father, M. Arthur Shenker, Jr., who did not attend his son’s funeral rites.
As noted above, obstruction of justice is included in RICO Act crimes. We can add to the list of involved organizations the Clark County district attorney’s office and LVMPD because these organizations have refused to conscientiously investigate and prosecute the person or persons responsible for Turner’s murder. They have sufficient evidence and refuse to move forward with this case. That is obstruction of justice as clearly as a cloudless sky.
Only the United States Justice Department is capable of properly investigating the murder of Jason Turner and bringing the case to completion. There is every reason to believe that related expenses might be in millions of dollars. There is also every reason to believe that prosecution of the case and its penalties imposed on the people involved will be sufficient to cover those costs and more. It’s not a question of cost, but of will — whether or not the Justice Department has the essential will to expose deep-rooted corruption and take steps to counter it.
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Thomas A. Nagy is the author of Cannabis Consumer Handbook available at Amazon.com, and the blog ReGeneration at blogspot.com. Email direct at: firstname.lastname@example.org.