I came across this posted at another site. I thought I'd share it here.
JK, I'm sure you have come across Lem in your sports betting circles in LV.
Very sad to be taken and robbed by your own family.
I-Team: Las Vegas Sports Bettor Gets Swindled
LAS VEGAS -- Metro detectives are investigating a multi-million dollar rip-off involving one of the world's best known sports bettors.
Colorful gambler Lem Banker who for years presented his weekly sports picks on 8 News Now says thieves took more than $3 million worth of coins, cash and jewelry from his safety deposit boxes. Banker says the financial loss isn't as painful as the knowledge of who did it.
Lem Banker knows that he is a soft touch. He supports charities, helps down and out athletes, and donates to police benefits. He's made millions of dollars betting sports and has always splurged on his loved ones, but in the year since his wife died, Banker says he's been picked clean by those closest to him.
"The deception, what they did to me, is heartbreaking," said Lem Banker, sports gambler.
The 83-year-old gambling legend is still sharp enough to outsmart the oddsmakers but he never saw this one coming. Two years ago, he underwent open heart surgery and signed papers allowing his grandson Jonathan Ribaste access to his safety deposit boxes in the event he didn't survive.
Last year, Banker's wife of 50 years, Debbie, died and that's when the looting began, he says. Banker says his daughter Blain, Jonathan's mother, knew all about it.
"Everything was going to go to them anyway but they ended up stealing the whole thing," Banker said.
The first clue was noticed by Banker's longtime assistant Juan Carvalo who said the checking accounts were out of whack. They discovered that the small checks Banker wrote to support his daughter were cashed for far more money than what he thought he was okaying. Hundreds of dollars had become thousands of dollars.
"She'd put down $100 dollars and then take $8,000 out. It was close to $40,000 they swindled me out of."
Alarmed and surprised, Banker went to check on three safety deposit boxes stuffed with a lifetime of accumulated winnings including 970 gold pieces worth in excess of $1.5 million, a diamond bracelet worth close to $1 million, a 55-carat necklace and a lot more.
"I had them filled up with gold, with bonds, over $100,000 in cash. Jewelry, everything was empty."
Not quite empty. In the place of the gold coins were worthless replicas purchased on the Internet. Instead of a 55-carat necklace, there was this piece of junk. Banker says he confronted his daughter and grandson, who admitted that Jonathan, who didn't turn 21 until December, had a terrible gambling problem and had run up a $400,000 debt with unnamed bad guys who put a gun to his head and made him clean out the bank boxes.
The million dollar jewelry was sold in Los Angeles for a mere $42,000.
"He says they threatened him. I don't believe it. One lie after another."
Metro detectives are investigating but were told by Blaine Banker all of the jewelry was willed to her by her mother. Jonathan Ribaste, whose father is Kansas City mob associate Pete Ribaste, a member of Nevada's Black Book, admits he took the gold coins to pay gambling debts, that he was out of his mind for a time, but denies there was any cash taken.
Banker says he has supported both his daughter and grandson their entire lives with homes, cars, and money, whatever they wanted. He can't believe this has happened at this stage of his life.
"Cops say it could turn into a civil case but someone has to pay for this."
No charges have been filed, nor is it clear they will be. Metro confirms the investigation is ongoing and that the case could be handed over to the team which handles crimes against the elderly.
Blaine Banker and her son Jonathan told 8 News Now by phone that since they were given access to the safety deposit boxes, it wasn't stealing. Jonathan expressed disappointment that his grandfather hasn't helped him get help for his gambling problem.
Lem Banker has always been a fraud. He had a small reputation which he decided to use to go tout when he could no longer pay his bills. He sucked in a lot of people with the end result being a 45% capper for 3-4 year period. I don't know if his site is still up nonetheless what goes around comes around.
This is very old news, Johnny, whoever you are. Why bother to dredge it up? Lem has reconciled with his daughter and grandson. His daughter lives here in Las Vegas and works in a high-end department store. The last I knew, his grandson was living in New York and working for a ticket brokerage.
Lem is one of my favorite people. He turns 90 on May 4.