A Murder in Cleveland?
On Saturday, July 14, 2018, Socrates S. Kokkalis, 34 died of a suspected drug overdose in his room at Cleveland Marriott Downtown. Son of Socrates P. Kokkalis, owner of Greek gambling tech company Intralot Interactive, was in Cleveland on business to meet with regulators regarding a sports betting project. Evidence found in the room indicates that Kokkalis died after he injected himself with a deadly mix of cocaine and fentanyl. Sadly, this combination of drugs has been killing drug users all across this country and around the world. From all the reports I read, it is my understanding that nobody had any idea that this young man had issues with drug use. Myself, father of an overdose victim, I can tell you that often family members have no idea what their loved one’s are struggling with. Even the wealthiest families have been blindsided by the discovery that a son or a daughter had died because of an OD.
From what I have been able to gather, the young Kokkalis was not in rehab or in a sober living home or chaperone, which is a common tactic used by many of the well off to help prevent their children from any drug use or destructive behavior.
Again, we may never know…
Now, to me, the troubling issue with this tragic death is why in God’s name would a man worth millions (if not tens of millions or more) be left alone in Cleveland? Perhaps it isn’t as dangerous as Chicago or Miami but it’s still a large city with crime issues. A man with that kind of wealth would just walk around in a hotel? That I find hard to believe. Worse is that Kokkalis knew who to call to score drugs, since it is my understanding from the papers that the dealer who the police caught was…
“A review of Kokkalis’ phone and other evidence revealed he had met with Christian on July 13 and several calls were made between them that day. Shortly after the calls and meeting, Kokalis made a hand-to-hand transaction with someone in a minivan, according to the affidavit…”
From News 5 Cleveland.
The alleged dealer, Terry Lee Christian, will be sentenced in January 2020. Perhaps more information on how a billionaire’s son from Greece meets a low level drug dealer in Ohio will be explained.
Where this gets interesting is in the number of times that Intralot and Socrates P. Kokkalis (the elder Kokkalis) have been alleged to be involved in incredibly wild activities such as money laundering, fraud, embezzlement, bribery, misleading investors and even espionage. As of now, no criminal convictions have occurred. Of course, Intralot has the contract to run the State Lottery of Malta, too.
My understanding is that since 1985, there is renewed activity of the Mafia in the State of Ohio and with at least one very mysterious death – that of Arthur Shapiro, a lawyer in Columbus, OH, who was working for Leslie Wexner (of Epstein fame) and may have had links to the East Coast Mob. As of yet, Shapiro’s death is still an open investigation.
Is it possible that somehow Kokkalis (the younger) was targeted for a blackmail effort that went wrong? Did the Mob want to have control or influence (here and abroad) over one of the world’s largest gaming companies?
Let’s see what the sentencing hearing brings out. After that, we should be able to access police reports and other information to follow up on this fascinating story.