A Stow man is listed as someone who authorities say perpetuated the expansion of Internet Cafe's here in Ohio where they are now illegal.
Pete Georgekopoulos, 39, of Stow is listed as one of the people who have convinced many small business owners in Cuyahoga County that VS2 internet cafe gaming systems operate as sweepstakes, according to authorities.
The individuals and companies named in an 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, according to authorities.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason, 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 the indictment of 10 defendants and seven companies involved in illegal Internet Sweepstakes Cafes in Cuyahoga County.
“We are working hard with partners like Prosecutor Mason to crack down on illegal internet cafes in Ohio,” said Attorney General DeWine. “These businesses, hundreds across Ohio, are totally unregulated and can be a real consumer rip-off.”
The 10 defendants and seven companies involved were indicted on counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony; conspiracy, a second-degree felony; gambling, a misdemeanor of the first-degree; gambling, a fifth-degree felony; operating a gambling house, a fifth-degree felony; and money laundering, a third-degree felony.
- Phillip Cornick, 47, of Jackson, New Jersey
- Edward Kaba, 45, of Toms River, New Jersey
- Richard Upchurch, 56, of Ramseur, North Carolina
- George Georgekopoulos, 37, of Hinckley
- Pete Georgekopoulos, 39, of Stow
- Christos Karasarides, Jr, 46, of Canton
- Christopher Maggiore, 46, of Canton
- James Watson, 61, of Canton
- Martin Sarcyk, 61, of North Royalton
- Neil Sarcyk, 25, of Parma Heights
- VS2 Worldwide Communications, LLC.
- P&E Technologies, Inc.
- Elite Entertainment, Inc. DBA VS2 Marketing Group
- Cyber Cov, LLC
- CKare Corp
- CMKare LLC
- Union Vending
"With records acquired by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, the Ohio Investigative Unit and the U.S. Secret Service identified numerous company and individual bank accounts being used to 'launder' the vast amounts of cash being generated by the network," according to a press release.
The revenue is funneled to New Jersey to VS2 Worldwide Communications, LLC in the form of checks and money orders from the individual café owners ... which collect cash from its local collaborators, said authorities.
Since February 2008, authorities say VS2 has profited $48 million from illegal gambling. Its profit of more than $48 million represents 25 percent of the proceeds from the illegal Internet gambling cafés in the county, said officials.
Authorities said the money is then distributed from the business account of VS2 Worldwide Communications LLC to various individual accounts owned by Phillip Cornick, Edward Kaba, Richard Upchurch, and a mysterious bank account in the Ukraine, as well as back to Ohio to the business account of Elite Entertainment DBA VS2 Marketing Group, an account controlled by Christos Karasarides, Jr., George Georgekopoulos and Pete Georgekopoulos.
“The end result is exactly what the members of the criminal enterprise intended – a complicated and elaborate, layered web of related companies dispersing and distributing money to each other with hopes of never being caught. The days of gambling with the law have come to a screeching halt," said Mason.