Molly Bloom exits Manhattan federal court, Friday, April 19, 2013, in New York. Nearly three dozen people were charged on Tuesday in what investigators said was a Russian organized crime operation that included illegal, high-stakes poker games for the rich and famous and threats of violence to make sure customers paid their debts. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
NEW YORK (AP) — It’s a case teeming with colorful characters: a reputed Russian mob boss once accused in an Olympic scandal, a wealthy art world impresario who hung out with Leonardo DiCaprio and a woman named Molly Bloom who gained a celebrity following by hosting them at high-stakes poker games.
U.S. authorities allege all had roles in a sprawling scheme by two related Russian-American organized crime enterprises. Prosecutors say in recent years the operations laundered at least $100 million in illegal gambling proceeds through hundreds of bank accounts and shell companies in Cyprus and the United States.