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Five individuals arraigned on more than 30 charges following investigation of two alleged storefront casinos in Davison, Burton
September 28, 2023
DETROIT, Sept. 28, 2023 — Following a recent, joint investigation by the Michigan Department of Attorney General and Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), five defendants accused of operating Davison and Burton storefront casinos were recently arraigned on 31 charges in 67th District Court located at 630 South Saginaw Street in Flint.
On April 27, 2023, authorities confiscated 100 gambling devices, $29,204 in suspected gambling profits, and 62 gift cards of varying denominations during raids conducted at The State Road Spot, 723 South State Road in Davison, and The Bristol Spot, located at 1374 East Bristol Road in Burton.
“Accountability is crucial when it comes to upholding justice and ensuring a fair and honest gaming environment in the state of Michigan,” MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said. “While the Michigan Gaming Control Board will continue to hold those who choose to circumvent the law accountable for their actions, we also acknowledge the importance of fairness, equality, and the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise. We operate with integrity and our investigators remain committed to the foundations of due process that protects the rights of all individuals involved.”
Charges were filed in August and September against the following individuals:
- Joseph Toporek and Mary Larkin are each facing five charges: three felony counts for running a gambling operation without a license and using computers to commit a crime; one high court misdemeanor for maintaining a gambling house for gain; and one misdemeanor for keeping a gambling house.
- Shaun Bellah II, Shaun Bellah Sr., and Ghazwan Brikho are each facing seven charges: five felony counts for conducting a criminal enterprise, conspiracy to conduct a criminal enterprise, running a gambling operation without a license, and using computers to commit a crime; one high court misdemeanor for maintaining a gambling house for gain; and one misdemeanor for keeping a gambling house.
Under the law, the criminal charges are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. All the accused have been arraigned — Toporek on Aug. 18, Brikho on Aug. 25, Larkin on Aug. 26, Bellah II on Sept. 5, and Bellah Sr. on Sept. 12 — and posted personal bond while they await their probable cause hearings on Sept. 28.
The public can report alleged illegal gambling by contacting the MGCB at 1-888-314-2682 or sending a message to MIGamblingTip@michigan.gov.
Gambling in any form is for entertainment purposes only. If someone has a gambling problem, please call the state's 24-hour, toll-free helpline at 1-800-270-7117 or the MGCB's responsible gaming section at 1-888-223-3044. Visit the Responsible Gaming page of the MGCB website for information on self-exclusion programs including the Disassociated Persons List and the Internet Gaming and Sports Betting Responsible Gaming Database, and DontRegretTheBet.org for additional tools to game responsibly.
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. Learn more at Michigan.gov/MGCB.