9 Defendants and 5 Companies Indicted - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

9 Defendants and 5 Companies Indicted

Posted: Updated:
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty, along with the Ohio Investigative Unit of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the Parma Heights Police Department, the Ohio Attorney General's Office, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshal Service, and U.S. Postal Inspector's Office announced a superseding indictment of nine defendants and five companies involved in illegal Internet Sweepstakes Cafes in Cuyahoga County.

Thursday's indictment adds four defendants including Georgia Buresti, Michael Koty, Anthony Tokic, and Buresti Enterprises to the original case filed in May 2012.

The individuals and companies named in today's indictment are operating, or working in close cooperation with the owners of an intricate internet gambling system known as "VS2" that is controlled by a computer server in the New Jersey headquarters of VS2 Worldwide Communications, LLC.

The Ohio Investigative Unit of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, working with the U.S. Secret Service, have identified the principal operators as Martin Sarcyk, Phillip Cornick, brothers Pete and George Georgekopoulos and Christos Karasarides, Jr. Over the last four years, from 2009 through 2012, these individuals have perpetuated the expansion of their VS2 gaming system into Ohio with the assistance of Ohio-based distributors and marketers of the system. These individuals have convinced many small business owners in Cuyahoga County that VS2 internet café gaming system operates as "sweepstakes," which are not illegal and unregulated in Ohio.

VS2 Worldwide Communications, LLC is located at 5140 West Hurley Pond Road, Wall Township (Farmingdale), New Jersey. The company began operating in 2004, and at the time was owned by Phillip Cornick and/or Richard Upchurch. This company provided the necessary software that ran the machines which the State of Ohio believes are gambling machines. It is believed that the software was developed in the Ukraine.

VS2's expansion practices indicate how determined they were to control the Internet sweepstakes cafe business wherever it went. The common purpose of this Enterprise regarding its ongoing illegal conduct was to earn money from illegal gambling and then launder the money so that additional gambling could occur.

The nine defendants and five companies were indicted on counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first degree felony; gambling, a fifth degree felony; gambling, a misdemeanor of the first degree; operating a gambling house, a fifth degree felony; operating a gambling house, a misdemeanor of the first degree; money laundering, a third degree felony; and possessing criminal tools, a fifth degree felony. The defendants include:

1) Phillip Cornick, 50, of Jackson, New Jersey

2) Richard Upchurch, 59, of Ramseur, North Carolina

3) George Georgekopoulos, 38, of Massillon

4) Michael Koty, 50, of Bloomsbury, New Jersey

5) Anthony Tokic, 54, of Cleveland

6) Georgia Buresti, 68, of Parma Heights

7) Pete Georgekopoulos, 40, of Massillon

8) Christos Karasarides, Jr., 47, of Canton

9) Martin Sarcyk, 61, of North Royalton

10) VS2 Worldwide Communications, LLC.

11) Buresti Enterprises, Inc.

12) P&E Technologies, Inc.

13) Elite Entertainment, Inc. DBA VS2 Marketing Group

14) Union Vending

Copyright 2013 WOIO. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow