Albany Sheriff Nets Windfall As Gurian Case Winds Down
The U.S. Attorney's office says more than $9.6 million in assets seized in an international internet gambling takedown is being distributed to law enforcement agencies in New York and Florida as well as the federal government.
In October 2013 then 30-year old Michelle Lasso pleased guilty to laundering in excess of $8 million for a global Internet gambling ring run by Philip Gurian of Florida. (Lasso eventually was deported to her native Panama.) U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian says the case began as a gambling investigation targeting Albany County Jail officers, eventually including the Sheriff's office, FBI, IRS and, the Saratoga and Albany County D-A’s Offices.
Gurian — known as "Florida Phil" — ran between 40 and 50 offshore websites and was earning as much as $150,000 a day. Gurian and several others have been dought to justice and the case is winding down with an announcement Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney's office in Albany that $4.7 million of forefeited criminal assets will go the Albany County Sheriff's Department to help fight crime.