Los Angeles police said Wednesday that they used federal racketeering statutes for the first time in breaking up a Century City sports betting operation, leading to the arrests of three men, including two San Fernando Valley residents.
Police seized $50,000 in gambling proceeds and may confiscate real estate worth an estimated $1.3 million and other assets owned by suspects, Deputy Police Chief Glen Levant said.
The arrests on bookmaking charges were made Dec. 12, but were not announced until Wednesday because the investigation was continuing, police said.
Jeffrey Stanley, 34, of Burbank; Edmond Leland Schwartz, 39, of Encino, and Murray Zimmer, 60, of Beverly Hills were arrested on suspicion of bookmaking,
Authorities are using federal laws to confiscate both a house in the 15705 block of Woodvale Road in Encino and a Los Angeles condominium in the 2000 block of South Bentley Avenue owned by Schwartz, Levant said. The two residences have a combined value of $1.3 million, he said. Levant said $44,000 in cash, a fax machine and some cellular phones are also expected to be confiscated in what he called a "historical, innovative concept."
"For the first time, gambling monies will be seized and returned to the city of Los Angeles, thereby helping to fund the police," he said.
The betting operation utilized toll-free telephone numbers to receive illegal bets on professional and college games that generated more than $100,000 a week, Levant said.
Undercover vice officers infiltrated the gambling ring and gathered evidence that resulted in the issuance of search warrants, the seizure of gambling paraphernalia and the confiscation of the $50,000, Levant said.