LOS ANGELES - As part of the Los Angeles High Intensity Financial Crime Area Task Force, on April 4, 2017, special agents with California Department of Justice Bureau of Gambling Control assisted in the on- site investigation and the serving of search warrants at the Bicycle Hotel and Casino in Bell Gardens. According to published reports, the investigation involves possible money laundering.
“Obviously, the investigation is underway and no one wants to jeopardize it by releasing information,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “We know that California DOJ special agents worked with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”
The team of law enforcement officers entered the casino, shutting it down for a day. CSLEA and Association of Special Agents-DOJ Member, Nate Davalle, an assistant bureau chief for California DOJ, told the Los Angeles Times the casino would remain closed until the search was complete, and players who had live chips would be able to cash them out once the casino reopened.
The Los Angeles times reports in its article “Federal Authorities Raid California Casino” that agents seized thousands of financial records. Possible money laundering could involve people who placed bets with “dirty” money and then exchanged their chips for “clean” cash.