Department Of Justice(NEW YORK) — Two Russians who ran illegal high-stakes poker games near Coney Island and at one point ordered a building that housed a rival’s poker game be set on fire are now facing life in prison.Lenny Gershman, 35, and Aleksey Tsvetkov, 39, on Tuesday were convicted of illegal gambling, loansharking, extortion, arson and marijuana distribution charges following a three-week trial in Brooklyn federal court. Both men also were convicted of pistol-whipping someone they accused of stealing marijuana from their stash house, shattering his teeth.“Today’s verdicts hold Gershman and Tsvetkov responsible for years of using intimidation, violence and their association with Russian organized crime to inflict crimes on our local communities, including carrying out beatings in broad daylight and committing arson in the dead of night, endangering the lives of tenants and New York City firefighters,” said Richard Donoghue, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Gershman and Tsvetkov were linked to Russian members of organized crime called the “Thieves in Law.”On a given night, stakes at their illegal poker games reached hundreds of thousands of dollars. When they ordered their rival’s building set ablaze in 2016, a small boy was trapped inside and firefighters were hurt in the rescue, prosecutors said.Tsvetkov was caught on video beating an extortion victim in the middle of a street outside an auto body shop in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn.“This investigation and trial illuminated clues that solved international and domestic crimes committed by members of an Eastern European organized crime syndicate operating in Brooklyn,” said James Hunt, special agent in charge of the New York office of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
THE venues for the 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand have been revealed, with the final of the prestigious ODI tournament to be held under lights at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval.The tournament will kick off with an opening weekend at Auckland’s Eden Park, while matches will also be played in Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga and Dunedin.The semi-finals will be held at Tauranga’s Bay Oval and Hamilton’s Seddon Park, while newly installed lights at Hagley Oval will ensure the decider can be held as a day-night blockbuster.In all, the 2021 ODI World Cup will feature 31 matches between February 6 and March 7 next year.Australia captain Meg Lanning would no doubt relish a return to Bay Oval, a venue where she has struck three of her 13 ODI centuries.Australia last toured New Zealand in early 2017, a campaign that saw them play at Bay Oval and Eden Park’s outer oval, while they also played three ODIs at the Tauranga venue in 2016 alongside two T20Is at Wellington’s Basin Reserve.The remaining venues will largely present an unknown to the Australians, if scheduled to play there. Ellyse Perry is the only current squad member to have played at Seddon Park, while none of the current group has played at Dunedin’s University Oval or Eden Park proper.The complete draw will be revealed in March.While Australia’s thoughts are currently firmly on the upcoming T20 World Cup, to be played on home soil from February 21 and culminating in the final at the MCG on March 8, the 2021 ODI World Cup is another tournament they will be desperate to succeed in after a disappointing campaign in the UK in 2017.After heading into that event as red-hot favourites, they were bundled out of the tournament in a shock semi-final loss to India, while hosts England went on to win the final at Lord’s.“Our goal was to ensure all 31 matches will be played at the best venues, encompassing a geographic spread that ensured as many Kiwi sports fans as possible get to engage with the tournament,” ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup CEO Andrea Nelson said.“It was great to see the enthusiasm from so many cities bidding for a chance to welcome the best players in the world to their backyard.”Currently, only Australia, New Zealand and defending champions England have qualified for the eight-team tournament.New Zealand qualify as hosts, while Australia and England’s strong performances across the current edition of the ICC Women’s ODI Championship – a three-year, round-robin competition to determine the four teams who automatically qualify alongside the host nation – have secured their spots.Two of Pakistan, South Africa, India, West Indies and Sri Lanka will join them following the final round of the Championship, while the remaining two spots will be decided at the World Cup qualifiers in Sri Lanka later this year.