Records regarding a deceased casino patron

T. McElwee filed this request with the New Jersey Department Of Law And Public Safety, Division Of Gaming Enforcement of New Jersey.
Tracking #

W153139

Est. Completion March 25, 2020
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: T. McElwee


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

All Division of Gaming Enforcement records pertaining to VYACHESLAV IVANKOV, alias "YAPONCHIK," a deceased person. Upon information and belief, the Division of Gaming Enforcement gathered information regarding Ivankov's activities as a patron at several Atlantic City casinos in a time period between 1992 and 1995.

To assist in a records search, the following information is known about Ivankov:

Full name: VYACHESLAV KIRILLOV IVANKOV
Name in Russian/Cyrillic alphabet: Вячесла́в Кири́ллович Иванько́в
Date of Birth: 2/1940
First 5 digits of SSN: 088-80
American residence in Brooklyn, NY
Date of Death: 10/2009

Ivankov is known to be deceased as of 2009; please see attached PDF. By definition Ivankov has no privacy concerns, nor are there any ongoing investigations.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

T. McElwee

  • Vyacheslav20Ivankov2C20at20693B20ran20ring20of20thieves20in20Soviet20Union20-20The.pdf

From:

I am attaching a receipt in response to your OPRA request.

Sara Ben-David, Deputy Attorney General
New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
140 East Front Street
P.O. Box 047
Trenton, NJ 08625
(609) 376-9405
Sara.Ben-David@njdge.org<mailto:Sara.Ben-David@njdge.org>

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE The information contained in this communication from the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General is privileged and confidential and is intended for the sole use of the persons or entities who are the addressees. If you are not an intended recipient of this e-mail, the dissemination, distribution, copying or use of the information it contains is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately contact the Office of the Attorney General at (609) 292-4925 to arrange for the return of this information.

From: T. McElwee

To whom it may concern:

I hereby appeal the denial of my request for records from the Division of Gaming Enforcement. The request was for records of Vyacheslav Ivankov, a casino patron. The number assigned by the Division was W153139. The Custodian Contact Information is Sara Ben-David. The stated grounds for denial were that it was "overbroad and improper."

I appeal on the basis that the cited grounds are completely baseless and merely a cover for the sheer laziness by the Division of Gaming Enforcement. I provided a reasonably specific class of records (those concerning a casino patron named Vyacheslav Ivankov). I provided a reasonably chronological basis for these records (1992-1995). Finally, I have every reason to believe that the records have been preserved as a matter of interest to regulators (there are several documented requests by the USDOJ to DGE for the latter's documentation of Ivankov's status as a "whale"/"high-roller" at several Atlantic City casinos).

This is not a request for "wholesale records" as cited by the Division, and it is disingenuous to classify the request this way without even bothering to do a simple search of records. I demand an actual search of records and the return of all responsive ones consistent with OPRA.

A completed Denial of Access Complaint and request for mediation is attached.

-Tecumseh McElwee

From: Muckrock Staff

To whom it may concern:

I hereby appeal the denial of my request for records from the Division of Gaming Enforcement. The request was for records of Vyacheslav Ivankov, a casino patron. The number assigned by the Division was W153139. The Custodian Contact Information is Sara Ben-David. The stated grounds for denial were that it was "overbroad and improper."

I appeal on the basis that the cited grounds are completely baseless and merely a cover for the sheer laziness by the Division of Gaming Enforcement. I provided a reasonably specific class of records (those concerning a casino patron named Vyacheslav Ivankov). I provided a reasonably chronological basis for these records (1992-1995). Finally, I have every reason to believe that the records have been preserved as a matter of interest to regulators (there are several documented requests by the USDOJ to DGE for the latter's documentation of Ivankov's status as a "whale"/"high-roller" at several Atlantic City casinos).

This is not a request for "wholesale records" as cited by the Division, and it is disingenuous to classify the request this way without even bothering to do a simple search of records. I demand an actual search of records and the return of all responsive ones consistent with OPRA.

A completed Denial of Access Complaint and request for mediation is attached.

-Tecumseh McElwee

From: New Jersey Department Of Law And Public Safety, Division Of Gaming Enforcement

Dear Ms. Ben-David,

The following Denial of Access Complaint and mediation materials are being sent to you from the New Jersey Government Records Council because a Denial of Access Complaint under the Open Public Records Act (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1, et seq.) has been filed against you, and the Complainant has agreed to mediate the complaint. Please see the cover letter, brochure and Agreement to Mediate attached. Additionally, please respond by no later than the close of business on December 27, 2019, either accepting or declining the mediation offer.

Please note that until the Custodian's Counsel submits a formal letter of representation to all parties, the GRC will communicate exclusively with the Custodian. See N.J.A.C. 5:105-1.3 & 2.2.

Sincerely,

Samuel A. Rosado, Esq.
Government Records Council
Staff Attorney
Tel: (609) 777-0507 | Fax: (609) 633-6337 - Please note new phone number
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/
______________________________________________________
This correspondence contains advisory, consultative and deliberative
material and is intended solely for the person(s) shown as recipient(s).
______________________________________________________

From: New Jersey Department Of Law And Public Safety, Division Of Gaming Enforcement

Dear Ms. Ben-David,

The following Denial of Access Complaint and mediation materials are being sent to you from the New Jersey Government Records Council because a Denial of Access Complaint under the Open Public Records Act (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1, et seq.) has been filed against you, and the Complainant has agreed to mediate the complaint. Please see the cover letter, brochure and Agreement to Mediate attached. Additionally, please respond by no later than the close of business on December 27, 2019, either accepting or declining the mediation offer.

Please note that until the Custodian's Counsel submits a formal letter of representation to all parties, the GRC will communicate exclusively with the Custodian. See N.J.A.C. 5:105-1.3 & 2.2.

Sincerely,

Samuel A. Rosado, Esq.
Government Records Council
Staff Attorney
Tel: (609) 777-0507 | Fax: (609) 633-6337 - Please note new phone number
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/
______________________________________________________
This correspondence contains advisory, consultative and deliberative
material and is intended solely for the person(s) shown as recipient(s).
______________________________________________________

From: New Jersey Department Of Law And Public Safety, Division Of Gaming Enforcement

Dear Mr. McElwee,

The New Jersey Government Records Council ("GRC") is in receipt of your Denial of Access Complaint. Because you and the Records Custodian have agreed to mediate this complaint, your complaint has been transmitted to the mediator, Mr. John E. Stewart, Esq. Mr. Stewart will contact you shortly to begin the mediation process.

Sincerely,

Samuel A. Rosado, Esq.
Government Records Council
Staff Attorney
Tel: (609) 777-0507 | Fax: (609) 633-6337 - Please note new phone number
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/
______________________________________________________
This correspondence contains advisory, consultative and deliberative
material and is intended solely for the person(s) shown as recipient(s).
______________________________________________________

From: New Jersey Department Of Law And Public Safety, Division Of Gaming Enforcement

Please see attached correspondence. Please also provide me with three (3) dates the week of March 23rd and three (3) dates the week of April 20th when you will be available to receive a conference call to mediate this complaint. Presently, I also have February 28, 2020 available. After I receive your dates, I will pick one (1) date that is convenient for all parties and schedule a mediation conference call for that date.

Please respond within five (5) business days.

Thank you,
John Stewart

John E. Stewart
Government Records Council
Staff Attorney/Chief Mediator
Tel: (609) 341-3480 | Fax: (609) 633-6337
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/
___________________________________________________________________________
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail and any attachments thereto may contain advisory,
consultative and deliberative material intended for the exclusive use of the recipient(s). Moreover,
if the subject of this e-mail references a complaint that is in mediation, this e-mail is a privileged
mediation communication. Mediation communications are confidential and are not subject to
disclosure under OPRA pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:23C-1 et seq.
___________________________________________________________________________

From: T. McElwee

Mr. Stewart:

I can do a call Feb. 28; March 23-25; April 20-22.

-TM

From: New Jersey Department Of Law And Public Safety, Division Of Gaming Enforcement

This correspondence confirms a mediation conference call on the above-referenced complaint scheduled for Friday, February 28, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. I will generate the call to the contact phone number on file for you. Please have on hand all information regarding the complaint, in particular, the Complainant must have available a specifically identifiable description for each and every record requested; the Custodian must have available the legal reason for denial of access to each and every record and/or redaction.

Thank you for participating in the mediation process.

Very truly yours,
John Stewart

John E. Stewart
Government Records Council
Staff Attorney/Chief Mediator
Tel: (609) 341-3480 | Fax: (609) 633-6337
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/
___________________________________________________________________________
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail and any attachments thereto may contain advisory,
consultative and deliberative material intended for the exclusive use of the recipient(s). Moreover,
if the subject of this e-mail references a complaint that is in mediation, this e-mail is a privileged
mediation communication. Mediation communications are confidential and are not subject to
disclosure under OPRA pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:23C-1 et seq.
___________________________________________________________________________

From: New Jersey Department Of Law And Public Safety, Division Of Gaming Enforcement

Mr. McElwee,

I tried to call you twice to conduct the mediation teleconference which was scheduled for 11:00 a.m. today. I keep receiving a busy or trouble signal. The other parties are waiting. Please e-mail me within the next 10 minutes with a good telephone number if you still wish to participate in the teleconference.

Thank you.

John E. Stewart
Government Records Council
Staff Attorney/Chief Mediator
Tel: (609) 341-3480 | Fax: (609) 633-6337
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/
___________________________________________________________________________
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail and any attachments thereto may contain advisory,
consultative and deliberative material intended for the exclusive use of the recipient(s). Moreover,
if the subject of this e-mail references a complaint that is in mediation, this e-mail is a privileged
mediation communication. Mediation communications are confidential and are not subject to
disclosure under OPRA pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:23C-1 et seq.
___________________________________________________________________________

From: T. McElwee

My apologies, it seems there was a miscommunication. I did not receive word from MuckRock's staff about these calls, and was under the impression that I was going to receive a call-in number by email.

I have been caught off-guard by this communication and would appreciate a make-up date and notice via email.

Please advise.

-TM

From: New Jersey Department Of Law And Public Safety, Division Of Gaming Enforcement

To all parties,

The Complainant contacted me and said there was some confusion with his organization regarding the February 28th conference call but that he was interested in rescheduling the call. At present I have March 25th & 27th available. Please let me know if either of those dates are convenient. If not, please provide me with three (3) dates the week of May 18th and three (3) dates the week of June 29th when you will be available to receive a conference call to mediate this complaint.

After I receive your dates, I will pick one (1) date that is convenient for all parties and reschedule the mediation conference call for that date.

Please respond within five (5) business days.

Thank you,
John Stewart, Mediator, GRC

From: New Jersey Department Of Law And Public Safety, Division Of Gaming Enforcement

This correspondence confirms that the mediation conference call for the above complaint, originally scheduled for February 28, 2020, has been rescheduled on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. I will place the call to the telephone numbers on file for the parties.

Very truly yours,
John Stewart

John E. Stewart
Government Records Council
Staff Attorney/Chief Mediator
Tel: (609) 341-3480 | Fax: (609) 633-6337
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/
___________________________________________________________________________
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail and any attachments thereto may contain advisory,
consultative and deliberative material intended for the exclusive use of the recipient(s). Moreover,
if the subject of this e-mail references a complaint that is in mediation, this e-mail is a privileged
mediation communication. Mediation communications are confidential and are not subject to
disclosure under OPRA pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:23C-1 et seq.
___________________________________________________________________________

From: T. McElwee

Thank you

-TM

From: New Jersey Department Of Law And Public Safety, Division Of Gaming Enforcement

IMPORTANT MESSAGE

To all parties:

The above-referenced complaint, to which you are a party, is scheduled for a teleconference next week. Due to the present and evolving measures being taken to contain spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), there is a possibility non-essential New Jersey State offices may have limited or suspended operations during the period of time the teleconference is scheduled. If the Government Records Council is not conducting normal operations on the date of the scheduled teleconference, the teleconference will be canceled. All affected parties will be contacted after the Government Records Council resumes normal operations and another mediation conference call will be promptly scheduled.

For information regarding the status of State operations on or about the scheduled teleconference date please check the State's website at https://www.state.nj.us/ . You may also check the GRC's website at https://nj.gov/grc/index.shtml or call my office at the below-listed telephone number.

In the event the State offices are in operation but your office is closed, or you are otherwise unavailable due to pandemic issues, please contact me so that I can cancel/reschedule the conference call.

Very truly yours,
John Stewart

John E. Stewart
Government Records Council
Staff Attorney/Chief Mediator
Tel: (609) 341-3480 | Fax: (609) 633-6337
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/
___________________________________________________________________________
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail and any attachments thereto may contain advisory,
consultative and deliberative material intended for the exclusive use of the recipient(s). Moreover,
if the subject of this e-mail references a complaint that is in mediation, this e-mail is a privileged
mediation communication. Mediation communications are confidential and are not subject to
disclosure under OPRA pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:23C-1 et seq.
___________________________________________________________________________

From: New Jersey Department Of Law And Public Safety, Division Of Gaming Enforcement

To all parties:

Due to the present and evolving measures being taken to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) the State is not presently conducting normal operations. For this reason, the mediation teleconference previously scheduled for March 25 is canceled. All affected parties will be contacted after the Government Records Council resumes normal operations and another mediation conference call will be promptly scheduled.

Very truly yours,
John Stewart

From: New Jersey Department Of Law And Public Safety, Division Of Gaming Enforcement

To all parties:

I am presently in the process of rescheduling mediation teleconferences that were postponed due to limited operations put in in place to contain the spread of COVID-19.

A conference call can be arranged for the following dates/times:

May 20, 2020 12:30 p.m.

May 26, 2020 10:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m.

May 27, 2020 10:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m.

May 28, 2020 10:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m.

June 2, 2020 10:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m.

June 3, 2020 10:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m.

June 4, 2020 10:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m.

Please let me know by reply e-mail the above dates/times when you will be available to receive a conference call to mediate this complaint. After I receive the time slots from all parties, I will select a date/time that is convenient for all and reschedule the mediation teleconference.

Thank you for your continuing cooperation.

Very truly yours,

John Stewart, Mediator, GRC

From: T. McElwee

Mr. Stewart:

Thank you for your continued work in this matter.

The dates of May 26, 27, and 28 work for me.

Please advise as to what number (or at least area code) to expect the phone call from.

Thank you,
-TM

From: New Jersey Department Of Law And Public Safety, Division Of Gaming Enforcement

Thank you.

Once a date is selected I will let all parties know how the call will be placed. It will either be an 800 or 609 area code.

From: New Jersey Department Of Law And Public Safety, Division Of Gaming Enforcement

This correspondence confirms that a mediation conference call on the above-referenced complaint has been rescheduled for Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. I will generate the call to the contact phone number on file for you.

Thank you for participating in the mediation process.

Very truly yours,

John Stewart, Mediator, GRC

John E. Stewart
Government Records Council
Staff Attorney/Chief Mediator
Tel: (609) 341-3480 | Fax: (609) 633-6337
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/
___________________________________________________________________________
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail and any attachments thereto may contain advisory,
consultative and deliberative material intended for the exclusive use of the recipient(s). Moreover,
if the subject of this e-mail references a complaint that is in mediation, this e-mail is a privileged
mediation communication. Mediation communications are confidential and are not subject to
disclosure under OPRA pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:23C-1 et seq.
___________________________________________________________________________

From: New Jersey Department Of Law And Public Safety, Division Of Gaming Enforcement

Dear Sir,

For tomorrow's mediation conference call the Custodian's Counsel has asked the parties to call the following conferencing number:

Call In Number: 877-411-9748

Access Code: 2225113

The conference call will commence at 12:30 p.m.

Pleasee let me know if, for any reason, this is unacceptable.

Thank you,

John Stewart, Mediator, GRC

From: New Jersey Department Of Law And Public Safety, Division Of Gaming Enforcement

Dear Mr. McElwee,

As I mentioned during our earlier teleconference, you will find attached a settlement agreement form for the above-referenced complaint. After you review the agreement, please sign and date where indicated. Once signed, please return the document to me via reply e-mail or fax. I will thereafter forward it to the Custodian's Counsel for execution by the Custodian.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you,
John Stewart

John E. Stewart
Government Records Council
Staff Attorney/Chief Mediator
Tel: (609) 341-3480 | Fax: (609) 633-6337
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/
___________________________________________________________________________
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail and any attachments thereto may contain advisory,
consultative and deliberative material intended for the exclusive use of the recipient(s). Moreover,
if the subject of this e-mail references a complaint that is in mediation, this e-mail is a privileged
mediation communication. Mediation communications are confidential and are not subject to
disclosure under OPRA pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:23C-1 et seq.
___________________________________________________________________________

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