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Ace and the S.O.S–Star Security team had successfully finished casino assignments in Las Vegas, Argentina, Macau and Bucharest. But the Bucharest assignment had caused a parting of ways between his group and Deutsche Bank – their primary client. Deutsche Bank Director Urs Raber was a nephew of the Sicilian Mafia boss Bernardo Capizzi. The rift was due to the fact that S.O.S. took possession of mafia assets and records in a hidden vault under the Bucharest Casino.
Don Bernardo Capizzi was killed in Palermo after breaking his agreement with Ace about the assets. Capizzi’s position as boss was taken over by his number two man Paolo Botecello. Paolo was captured and interrogated under drugs by S.O.S and gave up a ton of mafia information. Ace used the assets and information to strike a deal with the U.S. Vice President Vance Reynolds and remove his group from the clutches of the mafia.
Their first assignment was to take out the top Sicilian Mafia Cupola leaders in Palermo. Plus a simultaneous assignment was to rescue Saudi Prince Faisal bin Mutaib who had been kidnapped in Monaco. Mutaib was grandson to King Abdulah ibn Saud who had asked for U.S. assistance.
Ace’s partner Wolf Echo-Hawk Garcia would lead the Palermo team while Ace was in charge of the rescue of Prince Mutaib in Monaco. Everything was happening fast but S.O.S. was used to it.
Their missions in Sicily and Monaco had long tentacles which led Ace and his group back to Hong Kong and Macau. Once again Ace found himself facing triads and drug lords who ruled the Golden Triangle as well as Chinese politicians and bureaucrats. His cousin Nicholas Yung Cho Murphy lived in Taiwan and Nick was the primary asset that would help Ace through this tough assignment.
Attacking a syndicate of powerful triads might be considered suicidal. But Ace and his guys considered risking life and limb fun and their motto was ‘If it’s not fun we won’t do it.’
Big Wampum is a story of political intrigue, mafia, Chinese tongs, bureaucratic red-tape, love, hate, sex and the determination to fulfill a dream. After decades of working with Native American Tribes I fully appreciate the tedious process they go through to get approval for a casino. I also received a first-hand education of tribal politics and what a casino can do to help a tribe or tear it apart.
The Malaka Tribe of the Costanoan Nation (also known as the Ohlone) in my novel is fictitious but the process they go through is not. The tale takes place in modern times after they have gone through an excruciating and costly process of getting recognition as a legitimate Native American Tribe. Their ancestral lands located in the Presidio area of San Francisco were owned by the federal government. They could expect the City of San Francisco and State of California, among others, to object vigorously. The new challenge was daunting but the rewards were enormous. They wanted to share in the Big Wampum enjoyed by tribes with a resort casino development. . I’m not certain whether this is a story of love, hate, greed, politics, financial success, manipulation, or all of that and more. Whatever it is the story will, hopefully, be both entertaining and educational to the readers.
To all those fine tribal members I worked with over the past three decades (or most of them anyway) I thank you and respect your efforts.
Native Americans called wampum the shells they used for trade. The U.S. public’s perception was that wampum means money and to Charles Horace Adams that’s what casino management was all about.
Charley – called Charley Horse or just Horse by his friends – had established Wampum Inc. with Steve Winter who had built many of the casinos in Las Vegas. Charley was in his early forties with an athlete’s build, blonde hair and blues eyes. At first sight few would take him for a Native American. His mother was half Malaka blood and his father was a Swede. Charley dabbled with native carved shell art and sculpture in addition to being a successful financial advisor.
As a member of the Malaka Tribe he had arranged U.S. government tribal recognition. Then with the help of his best friend attorney Landon Kiefer he had negotiated acquisition of a hundred acre reservation at what used to be Candlestick Park in San Francisco. At their urging the Malaka Tribe had entered into a casino management contract with the Winter’s Group.
Charley became chairman of the Malaka Board of Directors. Politics plus conflicts with a Chinese Triad and Italian Mafia convinced him to sell his financial management company and resign his Malaka position.
This book is fiction but it’s based on a great deal of research and personal experience in dealing with Native America Tribes seeking to develop casinos.
Sean “Ace” Murphy’s family came from County Cork, Ireland and launched the Murphy Brewing Company in 1856. It became the second largest brewery in Ireland next to Guinness. Old John J. Murphy would be proud of what his little brewery had become. It was known as Lady’s Well Brewery until it was purchased by Heineken International in 1983. Ace was born in August, 1980 in Las Vegas, Nevada. His parents were Dan and Mary Murphy and his father ran Murphy Distributing. The company distributed beer, wine and liquor. After graduating from UNLV in 2000 he enlisted as an officer in the United States Air Force and became a fighter pilot. In 2008 the USAF decided to place him in an elite group called Special Operations. He got all the training given to Navy Seals, Delta Force and more. He was promoted to Major and sent me to head up the Delta Tactical 24th Special Tactics Squadron at Pope Field, NC. That’s where he met a half Mescalero Apache & half Mexican named “Wolf” Echo-Hawk Martinez. After getting a belly full of political ops assignments they resigned their commissions and set up Special Operations Security (S.O.S.) Consultants in Las Vegas. S.O.S. specialized in security issues the casinos either couldn’t or didn’t want to deal with. A twist of fate put them in contact with Deutsche Bank who became their largest client. Through the bank they met Benardo Capizzi one of the top Sicilian Mafia leaders and trust account financing source for casino developments. Their business interests quickly expanded to international operations but they still followed their founding principle of ‘If we can’t have fun doing it we won’t do it’.
Sean “Ace” Murphy and his MexApache partner “Wolf” Echo-Hawk Martinez are in the middle of helping clean up corruption from the Casino de Tigre level to that of the highest office of the Argentina government. They lead their specially trained former U.S. Air Force Special Ops Tactical Forces in a private vendetta to avenge the brutal death of Beanie Swartz, one of their team members.
Acting on behalf of their client, Deutsche Bank, and behind the scenes Sicilian Mafia leader, Bernardo Capizzi, they take on the various U.S. agencies from the FBI to the CIA as well as assorted drug lords and Argentina politicos.
The action is fast-paced with enough danger and romance to keep in interesting. Ace’s latest love may have better connections than he does and she – Leslie Florentine – is right there by his side through thick and thin.
In keeping with the S.O.S. motto of “If it’s not fun, why do it?” there are plenty of wise-cracks and camaraderie to go around as they face danger at each turn in Las Vegas, Argentina, Europe and China.
If you like action adventure with a taste of mystery and romance blended in, you should enjoy the Ace Murphy series.
Ace Murphy and his Special Ops Security (S.O.S.) guys take on Chinese triads, drug lords and Russian mafia among others while unraveling a mess at The City of Dreams in Macau for Deutsche Bank. They dig into the conspiracy between the casino, government, illegal weapons, and drug trade. They discover a threat to world peace when suitcase nuclear weapons are being traded to Al Qaeda terrorists.
Ace wasn’t one to jump to a conspiracy theory but there was definitely something fishy going on in Macau, Hong Kong and the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC). And it had something to do with the City of Dreams Casino (CoD) which his client, Deutsche Bank, had hired him to investigate.
After dealing with a similar situation in Argentina not long ago Ace knew a bit about what to expect. But dealing with the web of Chinese multilevel government, business and crime lords was very different from Argentina. Some things they had in common, however, were graft and corruption. So his plan was to do what he always did. He would follow the money and stumble around until the guilty got in his way.
S.O.S., Special Operations Security, was coming off of successful missions for their client Deutsche Bank in Argentina, Macau and Las Vegas. Now the Moldovan and Russian mafia were making a grab at occupying Casino Bucharest. The bank held major interest in the casino and the bank director Urs Raeber asked S.O.S. to go in and protect their assets and staff.
Ace had sent his partner Wolf Martinez plus half of his special ops trained guys on ahead to Romania to protect the casino management team. They were greatly outnumbered so Urs’ uncle mafia Don Bernardo Capizzi sent his number two man, underboss Paolo Botecello from Sicily with plenty of mafia soldiers to Bucharest to help out. It wasn’t out of the goodness of Capizzi’s heart that he did this. He had guaranteed the Deutsche Bank financing through his Luxemburg and Liechtenstein trusts. Plus he was related by blood to Urs Raeber the top guy for Deutsche Bank in Zurich.
The first management team at Casino Bucharest had disappeared. The financial officer from the second team had also gone missing. Now Paolo had disappeared. This could result in all-out war between the Sicilians and Russians. As usual Ace and his S.O.S. guys would be caught in the middle.
Empires are seldom built by just hard work, especially in the casino business. Mark Chandler is from the tough mining town of Bisbee, AZ. He works in hotels while attending Arizona State University and develops an interest in a hospitality management career. So he transfers to UNLV & works in various positions in Las Vegas casino properties while completing his education and accomplishing a Masteres Degree in Hospitality Management. He meets Marcy Silver while she’s working at The Luxor & he is at Mandalay Bay. She’s married to Michael who is Assistant District Attorney but that doesn’t stop Mark. A love affair blossoms and she divorces Michael Silver and marries Mark who is chasing his dream with a partner, Brent Winchester, in building Crazy Vida Casino in Primm, NV. Brent & Mark meet at UNLV and both continued to work in Vegas where they talked some of the casino heavy financial hitters to back them in their small Primm casino near Vegas. The venture is successful, but the partners have a falling out. They split up and sell the casino. They start up two casino companies and build other properties.
They compete in every way and bad blood forms between them as their fortunes grow.Mark, while in Europe to raise financing for casino development, meets an older gentleman from Sicily, Pietro Spinelli, who turns out to be his great uncle. Pietro provides backing of loan guarantees for consortium of banks through some Luxemburg Trusts he and associates use to invest their illegal gains in legal enterprises. He funds Viva Gaming with capital sources funding to build resort casinos in and other locations. The Viva Gaming empire grows as does Tandem Entertainment the group Bent Winchester puts together.
This is a book of fiction but some of the situations are virtual reality. Casino empires are about connections more than luck or hard work. There’s an old Sicilian proverb – “Non si può avere carne senza osso” – “You can’t have meat without the bone.” This book is about having both but paying the price in a world of Casino Crazy.