A Canton man was charged by a federal grand jury in Cleveland, Ohio on Friday. Christos Karasarides Jr. faces several counts of submitting false tax returns, tax evasion, falsifying records, five conspiracies to run illegal gambling operations, an attempt to defraud the IRS, committing money-laundering, and witness tampering.
Christos Karasarides Jr. Indicted by DoJ on Gambling and Tax Charges
The litany of charges was shared in a press release by the Department of Justice and is the latest action taken against illegal gambling operators. The government has been targeting numerous criminals attempting to or successfully run illegal gambling. In May last year, DoJ charged Jason Kachner and Rebecca Kachner, a married couple, Thomas Helmick and CPA DiPietro with conspiring to run an illegal business as well, along with other criminal offenses, and naturally an attempt to defraud the IRS.
This is relevant as the indictment unsealed on Friday also targets these other offenders, and adds more charges against DiPietro and the Karasarides in particular. In the indictment, DoJ explains that between 2010 and 2018, Karasarides, Jason and Rebecca Kachner, and DiPietro conspired and operated Skilled Shamrock, an illegal gambling business based in Canton.
This came on top of a charge to conspire and defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as they sought to conceal the income that the illegal business did. The exact size of the operation is not clear, but DoJ estimates that players at Skilled Shamrock wagered a grand total of more than $34 million in the period between 2012 and 2017 alone.
The owners of the business that now stand trial have benefited at least $4 million in net income. The indictment argues that between 2009 and 2013, Karasarides evaded tax to the tune of $1.4 million. DiPietro and Karasarides conspired to conceal the outstanding debt amount to the IRS by attempting to conceal the latter’s ownership and involvement in the illegal gambling business.
Karasarides did not pay his debt but rather opted for a splurge of personal spending that involved cars, real estate, credit card payments, and the benefit of family members. He was later able to falsify more tax returns between 2013 and 2016 with the assistance of DiPietro. DoJ explained that his IRS filings in the period failed to acknowledge income generated from illegal gambling businesses, including Skilled Shamrock and others.
Karasarides Tried to Cover His Tracks through Legal Paperwork
Both the Kachners and Helmick previously received charges of underreporting their income generated from Redemption Skill Games 777, one of the other gambling businesses DoJ alleges they were involved with. Meanwhile, Karasarides may have tried to tamper with a witness who appeared before the grand jury.
He also sought to obfuscate his involvement in the illegal gambling businesses by attempting to authenticate loans through associates, and his son, issuing false promissory notes. The witness who appeared and Karasarides tampered with was instructed to testify to the authenticity of the loans. Karasarides also faces other charges, as DoJ continued to lay the case against the man.
For example, he tried to also hide the fact that the final payment for his personal residence came from proceeds obtained from the illegal gambling businesses. He further conspired with others and formed a company, providing associates with cash to avoid the principle and buy the residence outright, making it look cleaner on paper.
The charges against Karasarides are many, and he faces up to five years in prison on each charge of conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business and defraud the tax revenue service. He also faces prison time over submitting a false tax return and up to 20 years for each count of conspiracy to launder money, along with the witness tampering and falsification of financial records charges.
Overall, Karasarides is a difficult spot with DoJ. He appeared in court on Friday last week when DoJ announced the proceedings against him. Meanwhile, DiPietro could face up to five years for assisting Karasarides to evade taxes and another three years for helping him with a false tax return.