Gambling debt drove deal

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One of the local businessmen linked to the Mercer County corruption probe unfolding in federal court acknowledged yesterday that his rampant gambling habit led to many of the alleged illegal activities under scrutiny by investigators.

Alex Abdalla, 52, who has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the investigation, spoke about his addiction to casino gambling and illegal sports betting during testimony yesterday in the case against Harry Parkin, chief of staff to former Mercer County Executive Robert D. Prunetti.

The Washington Township man said he desperately searched for cash after he amassed $500,000 in gambling debt – primarily from illegal betting – while he was the owner of the county’s recycling hauler.

“I had a gambling problem,” he said.

Abdalla, who cooperated with the government investigation, testified he bribed former Ewing Mayor Al Bridges in 2000 to try to get demolition work on the former General Motors Corp. site in the township.

Though those efforts to make extra money weren’t successful, Abdalla said he was able to get investors, including Parkin, to loan money to his company, Central Jersey Waste & Recycling.

Abdalla testified he didn’t tell Parkin about his gambling problem when the county official made a $150,000 loan to the business in October 2000 while Parkin was chief of staff.

Abdalla said he spent half of Parkin’s loan on his own gambling debts and outstanding bank loans.

Unknown to Parkin, Abdalla routinely took as much as $50,000 at a time from the company to cover his debts.

“I was bleeding the company,” he said.

Abdalla was the second alleged co-conspirator to testify against Parkin, who is accused of using his county job to foster his financial interest in the recycling company.

James Lambert, a former county employee, spent seven days on the stand outlining the trio’s alleged plans …

Korea Break Saudi Jinx In Poker Online Uang Asli Style

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Park Chu-young celebrates his late goal

It wasn’t the prettiest and it wasn’t without controversy but South Korea’s 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia in qualification for the 2010 World Cup in Riyadh was one of the team’s best results in years and a seventh successive appearance at the World Cup looks a good deal closer.


It had been 19 long years since the Taeguk Warriors last defeated the Sons of the Desert in a competitive match but late goals from Lee Keun-ho, his fifth in three games for the national team, and Park Chu-young in the early hours of Thursday Poker Online Uang Asli morning Korean Time, gave the visitors the three points.


That haul puts Korea two points clear at the top of Group Two after three matches. Iran has five, two less than the leaders, while Saudi Arabia and North Korea each have four. UAE sits in last place with a solitary point.


The win at the home of one of Korea’s biggest rivals in the battle to reach the World Cup is a big step in the direction of South Africa. It also means that if Korea can avoid defeat in Tehran in the next match in February, it will be in first place at the halfway stage with three of the four remaining games to be played at home. The top two in the group automatically qualify.


That is far in the future however and for the next few days at least, coach Huh Jung-moo can bask in the victory. It wasn’t an easy one but few expected it to be. Saudi Arabia had a great chance to score in the opening minutes but twice Lee Young-pyo, playing his 100th game in the red shirt, blocked on the goal-line.