Canada: Former boss of illegal Ottawa gambling ring target in shooting outside Meadowlands gym - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Former boss of illegal Ottawa gambling ring target in shooting outside Meadowlands gym

18:55  21 november  2019
18:55  21 november  2019 Source:   ottawacitizen.com

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a man smiling for the camera: Benny Manasseri  Benny Manasseri

Benedetto “Benny” Manasseri had just finished an early morning workout when he was shot at close range as he got into his white Chevy pick-up in the parking lot of a high-end Meadowlands gym.

An assailant, who knew Manasseri would be there, approached and fired bullets through the driver’s side window. Manasseri, an Ottawa business man with long-standing ties to organized crime, was shot in the chest. He was rushed to hospital and into surgery. He remains in critical condition while police investigate the targeted attempted hit on his life.

At around 6:30 a.m., Ottawa police received multiple 911 calls reporting a shooting in front of the Movati Athletic at 1395 Meadowlands Dr. East. Police and paramedics arrived to find Manasseri, bleeding from the chest and mouth, with no shooter in sight.

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Illegal gambling rings will need to have enough financial backing to cover the bets placed by all customers. Illegal gambling rings can be extremely profitable despite being very high risk. The reason for this being that due to being operated illegally there are no outgoings on tax.

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By Wednesday afternoon, a large swath of the parking lot remained taped off, with a handful of Ottawa police officers standing guard at the entrance to the gym. Staff inside would not say anything about the shooting. Police were using the collision unit’s drone to survey the area. Gym-goers continued to enter Movati, navigating the police tape.

a view of a car:  Ottawa police were investigating a shooting near Movati Athletic at 1395 Meadowlands Drive. A bullet hole can be seen in the window if a white Chevy truck. © Tony Caldwell Ottawa police were investigating a shooting near Movati Athletic at 1395 Meadowlands Drive. A bullet hole can be seen in the window if a white Chevy truck.

In recent months, Manasseri, 55, was running BenCorp Construction with his son Benny Jr. The company offers everything from general contracting services to concrete and paving jobs in Ottawa, Cornwall and Kingston. But Manasseri Sr. is most well known as the former owner of Proshine car wash and as the head of an illegal online sports gambling ring — a resume that has kept him on police radar for the better part of 20 years.

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Illegal gambling is any type of gambling that is specifically prohibited by state law. State gambling laws outlaw games, bets, or wagers that are at least partially dependent on some element of chance. If a game or competition that gives prizes to winners is based on skill, such as a car race or a shooting

1. Professional gamblers make their living by gambling and thus consider it a profession. Compulsive gambling is a progressive addiction that harms every aspect of the gambler 's life. As they continue to gamble , their families, friends and employers are negatively affected.

Manasseri’s parents immigrated to Canada in the 1950s from Sicily. The Manasseri children grew up in the area of Gladstone and Fairmont Avenues in Hintonburg.

His brother Charlie Manasseri is a convicted killer whose case dragged through the justice system for years before he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2017 for the 2005 beating death of a 22-year-old man who aspired to be a police officer.

Benny’s children, too, have had a former business — a Greco gym they owned and operated in Little Italy — hit by gunfire, though police believe they weren’t the intended targets.

Manasseri was arrested in 1987 when the RCMP drug squad seized six kilos of cocaine — three in the trunk of a car with Ontario licence plates and another three during a raid in Quebec.

In 1989, Manasseri, along with Domenico (Dominic) Arecchi, started a carwash business called “Proshine” with a flagship outfit operating in Westboro. They would come to be known as “the car wash guys,” according to court records.

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a group of people posing for the camera:  Dominic Arecchi and Benny Manasseri at Proshine car wash in 2004. © Pat McGrath Dominic Arecchi and Benny Manasseri at Proshine car wash in 2004.

In 2001, Manasseri, then 37, was charged alongside Arecchi and others in connection with an illegal gambling ring tied to the Rizzuto crime syndicate, one of the country’s largest organized crime families. The ring controlled a $200-million-a-year bookmaking operation in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. The top rung of the organization was in Ottawa, police said.

A lawsuit launched to recover money that was supposed to be invested in a Manasseri business was launched in 2011. In it, the defendant alleged that Manasseri, in addition to the car wash business, “made high-risk loans under the business name Pro-Fit Financing Corporation.”

According to the lawsuit, in which Manasseri was only a witness, Manasseri paid the man two per cent interest every month in cash that was handed over at a fast food restaurant. No receipts were ever given.

When Manasseri testified at the lawsuit’s trial he said he no longer had any records and that he had recently been released from prison after pleading guilty to organized crime charges related to the high-risk loan business. A judge found his evidence to be “extremely vague and unhelpful.”

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Shooting targets are objects in various forms and shapes that are used for pistol, rifle, shotgun and other shooting sports, as well as in darts, target archery

In 2012, national, provincial and Ottawa police made a slew of arrests after a two-year project looking into illegal online gambling.

Manasseri, then 49, was charged, again alongside Arecchi, and Ottawa man Gary Saikaley. Partners of Manasseri had been infiltrated by police, leading the OPP to start an offshoot investigation into the Ottawa cell.

In 2014, when he pleaded guilty, court heard that Manaserri was the head of the “sophisticated” Ottawa gambling ring. Between February and July of 2012, the ring, which operated sports betting websites, grossed more than $840,000.

Manasseri had voluntarily left the organization before he was arrested sometime in early 2012.

A judge ruled that the only goal of the whole cell was financial gain and that the ‘Car Wash Guys’ were “involved in a hostile takeover of another cell which was then required to pay a form of tax in order to remain in business.”

At the time Manasseri told the court “he now has legitimate employment” and is “firmly committed to living a law abiding life and will return to a pro-social law abiding lifestyle upon his release from prison,” according to his sentencing decision.

Guns and gangs investigators continue to probe his shooting. Police have made no arrests.

Correction:  Domenico Arecchi is a former business partner of Benedetto Manasseri. A previous version of this story contained incorrect information.

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