Federal authorities raid Bicycle Hotel and Casino
Federal agents served a search warrant at the Bicycle Hotel & Casino in Bell Gardens supposedly as part of a criminal fraud investigation, shutting it down April 4, reported CBSLA.com.
Officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations confirmed the raid to CBSLA, but would not comment further on the investigation.
Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles, said in a statement that “a search warrant issued by a United States magistrate judge was filed under seal in relation to an ongoing investigation,” but could not comment “on the scope or nature of the investigation” because of the seal on the warrant.
The warrant is being executed today by members of the Los Angeles High Intensity Financial Crime Area Task Force, which includes U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; IRS Criminal Investigation; the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Gambling Control; and the United States Attorney’s office.
According to law enforcement sources who were familiar with the situation, the investigation was focused on whether Bicycle’s gambling club was used to launder cash illegally obtained, reported theLos Angeles Times. In other words, this investigation should discover if gamblers used dirty money at the tables in exchange for clean money.
Kenneth Taylor, a regular Paigow player at the casino, told the Los Angeles Times the casino had not been evacuated. A casino employee was reportedly told that the casino floor would reopen at a later date so he could cash out chips.