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Burton Millionaire Party Operator Pleads Guilty to Running Illegal Gaming House following MGCB Investigation
November 03, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 3, 2014
UPDATE: Three employees or agents of Thomas Joubran also pled guilty to related gaming crimes in 67th District Court, Flint, and were sentenced in October. Rafael A. Vasquez, 32, was sentenced Oct. 15 to a $1,125 fine or 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to keeping a gambling house. Rebecca L. Lotter, 29, pled guilty to keeping a gambling house and was fined $125 on Oct. 15. Ariel L. Stiers, 22, pled guilty to keeping a gambling house and was fined $140 on Oct. 29.
Burton millionaire party operator pleads guilty to running illegal gaming house following Michigan Gaming Control Board investigation
Detroit—A 32-year-old Burton man pled guilty today, November 3, 2014, in Flint’s 7th Circuit Court to running an illegal gaming room, a violation punishable by imprisonment for up to two years. Sentencing is scheduled for December 1, 2014, at 2 p.m. State officials pursued charges against Thomas Joubran, owner of Shamrock’s Internet Café in Genesee Township, after the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) investigated an anonymous tip and uncovered an illegal gaming operation there last year.
Joubran was listed as the millionaire party booking contact for the adjacent Lucky’s Poker Room, 6340 N. Genesee Road, where the MGCB suspended all charitable gaming in November 2013. The suspension followed MGCB officers reporting 20 illegal gaming machines inside the café at the same location. The MGCB provided the information to the Michigan State Police.
Michigan State Police and the Michigan Attorney General’s office then conducted a joint investigation of suspected illegal gambling and fraudulent activities involving the poker room’s owner and agents, including Joubran, which resulted in multiple felony charges in April.
“Because Michigan law prohibits unregulated gambling, the MGCB works hard to ensure charitable organizations can operate their games with integrity and without exposure to illegal activities and their criminal consequences,” said MGCB Executive Director Richard Kalm. “We encourage charities to monitor their events and report illegal gambling activities, improving public safety and guarding their own reputations.”
Michigan State Police seized computer-based, slot-machine-style games when a search warrant was executed at the café on Nov. 18, 2013.
Michigan’s penal code and the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act strictly prohibit unregulated gambling. The only gambling authorized under state law includes pari-mutuel horse racing, bingo, the state-sponsored lottery, charity millionaire parties and casino gambling operated by individuals licensed under the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act. Unlicensed gambling is punishable by a $100,000 fine, 10 years in prison or both under the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act.
Michigan citizens are encouraged to report any suspicious or illegal gambling to the Michigan Gaming Control Board by calling its 24-hour anonymous tip line at (888) 314-2682. The Attorney General’s Alcohol & Gambling Enforcement Division can be reached at (517) 241-0210.
"The Michigan Gaming Control Board shall ensure the conduct of fair and honest gaming to protect the interests of the citizens of the State of Michigan."