Attorney General Brown Announces Takedown of Illegal Gambling Ring

Friday, October 10, 2008
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

LOS ANGELES –Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that California Department of Justice special agents, assisted by the FBI, brought down an illegal gambling ring on Wednesday which took bets on the winning numbers of the California Daily 3, paid out the cash and hoarded the profits.

“The California State Lottery helps to fund education for millions of children in California,” Attorney General Brown said. “It should not be exploited by criminals for their own personal gain. I want to thank the FBI for working with my office to put an end to this illicit scheme.”

The 18-month joint investigation found the organization sold lottery tickets in Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Gabriel, and the San Joaquin Valley. The gambling ring took bets on number combinations based on the “California Daily 3” and would pay all winning bets, and retain the remainder as profit. It is estimated that several thousand people placed bets daily on each game.

The ring is suspected of making a profit of around $500,000 to $1 million dollars per month. Prior law enforcement investigations have shown this type of scheme can generate over $800,000 in illegal profits per month.

Profits from the California State Lottery “California Daily 3” are used to fund education and other programs in the State of California. It is illegal for private groups to collect bets and money based on games from the California State Lottery.

On October 8, 2008, state agents and the FBI concluded the multi-jurisdictional investigation with the assistance of the California State Lottery, Modesto Police Department, and Stockton Police Department. The investigation culminated with the service of seven federal search warrants and four arrest warrants in the Modesto, Stockton, and Los Angeles areas.

Evidence seized from the search warrants included documents, interview statements, and proceeds of the illegal gambling business totaling approximately $65,000 in U.S. currency and $103,000 in cashiers checks.

The following people were arrested as a result of the investigation:

Somachy Ray Keo, 48, of Modesto, CA;

Pang Yean, 66, of Modesto, CA;

Kanary Khin, 55, of Long Beach, CA;

Saret Gul Nosar, 57, of Los Angeles, CA.

The suspects were arrested for violation of Title 18 United States Code 1955 for conducting an illegal gambling business in the eastern and central districts of California, and were turned over to the custody of the U. S. Marshall’s Office.

# # #