Examples of Gaming Investigations - Fiscal Year 2014
The following examples of gaming investigations are written from public record documents on file in the courts within the judicial district where the cases were prosecuted.
“Ten-Percenter” Sentenced on Tax Fraud Convictions
On May 16, 2014, in Dallas, Texas, Willie L. Loveless was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison and ordered to pay $25,826 in restitution. Loveless pleaded guilty in May 2013 to one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the due administration of the Internal Revenue laws and 19 counts of fraud and false statements on Forms W-2G. According to the indictment, “Ten-percenting,” is a practice that occurs at some gambling establishments in which a gambler arranges for another individual to cash the gambler’s "IRS ticket", so that the gambler can avoid paying taxes on the winnings. An “IRS ticket" is a winning ticket that triggers the issuance of a Form W-2G. The person cashing the ticket, often called a “ten-percenter,” completes the Form W2-G, falsely representing that he/she is the owner of the ticket and the proper recipient of the winnings. Usually, the person who cashes the ticket charges approximately ten percent of the winnings for the service. In calendar years 2008, 2009 and 2010, Loveless signed approximately 1445 Forms W2-G at Lone Star Park representing more than $1.76 million in winnings. On those forms, Loveless falsely attested that he was the only person entitled to any part of the winnings and each form signed by Loveless reflected his correct name, address and social security number.
Leader of International Multimillion-Dollar Illegal Sports Gambling Business Sentenced
On May 8, 2014, in Manhattan, New York, Illya Trincher was sentenced to six months in prison followed by six months’ home confinement and ordered to forfeit approximately $6.4 million. Trincher pleaded guilty to gambling charges on Nov. 15, 2013. According to court documents, Trincher and a co-defendant operated and led a nationwide illegal gambling business in New York City and Los Angeles that catered primarily to multi-millionaire and billionaire clients. As part of this business, the organization ran a high-stakes, illegal sports book that utilized several online gambling websites operating illegally in the United States. The organization booked bets that were often in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and at times a million dollars, on a single sporting event. The organization also made millions of dollars of sports bets each year. Twenty-nine defendants in this case have pleaded guilty, and two have entered into deferred prosecution agreements. The defendants who have pleaded to date have agreed to forfeit, in total, more than $69,000,000.
Two Conspirators of Russian-American Organized Crime Enterprise Sentenced
On April 29 and April 30, 2014, respectively, in Manhattan, New York, Anatoly Golubchik and Vadim Trincher were each sentenced to 60 months in prison and ordered to forfeit more than $20 million in cash, investments, and real property. Both were charged in April 2013 along with 32 other alleged members and associates of two Russian- American organized crime enterprises in an indictment that included racketeering, money laundering, extortion, and various gambling offenses. According to court documents, both participated in a racketeering conspiracy in connection with their roles as members of a Russian-American organized crime enterprise. The enterprise operated a high-stakes, illegal sports gambling business out of New York City that catered primarily to Russian oligarchs living in Ukraine and Russia. Golubchik and Trincher were U.S.-based participants in the enterprise. Golubchik and Trincher booked sports bets that reached into the millions of dollars and laundered the proceeds of the Organization’s international sports booking. Twenty-eight defendants in this case have pleaded guilty, and two have entered into deferred prosecution agreements. The defendants who have pleaded to date have agreed to forfeit, in total, more than $68 million.
Oklahoma Men Sentenced for Running Illegal Gambling Operation and Money Laundering
On Jan. 17, 2014, in Oklahoma City, Okla., Teddy Dryden Mitchell, of Oklahoma City, was sentenced to 27 months in prison and two years of supervised release. On July 8, 2013, Mitchell pleaded guilty to running an illegal offshore internet sports betting business and conspiracy to commit money laundering. As part of his plea, Mitchell admitted he conducted, financed, managed, supervised, directed or owned all or part of the gambling business that violated Oklahoma law and that the business was in substantial continuous operation for more than 30 days or had gross revenue of $2,000 or more on any single day. In addition, he admitted that he conspired to launder funds to promote the illegal internet gambling business. Eight other men have been sentenced in connection with this case, with sentences ranging from probation to 16 months in prison. As part of this case, the government also seeks a forfeiture money judgment of over $8.1 million and the forfeiture of multiple tracts of real property, vehicles, and cash held in various accounts.
Connecticut Man Involved in Organized Crime-Controlled Gambling Ring Sentenced
On October 24, 2013, in Hartford, Conn., Richard Uva, of Trumbull, was sentenced to 46 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $250,000. On August 5, 2013, Uva pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to violate the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. According to court documents, Uva and others were charged with various offenses related to their involvement in an illegal Internet sports bookmaking operation and illegal card gambling clubs. Uva is an alleged associate of the Gambino organized crime family. Uva provided assistance in the operation of a large-scale sports bookmaking business in which gamblers placed bets with offshore Internet sports-gambling web sites. Uva served as the “master agent” for the bookmaking operation and supervised a network of bookmakers. In addition, Uva and others operated a card gambling club, where a house percentage, commonly referred to as a “rake,” was collected from every hand played. Uva supervised the club’s operation. Uva committed acts of extortion while participating in this racketeering enterprise and collected “tribute” payments from independent sports bookmakers operating in Connecticut. A portion of the payments were delivered to Gambino Family associates in New York. On April 28, 2011, investigators executed a search warrant at Uva’s former residence in Stamford and seized approximately $175,000 in cash. To date, 18 defendants involved in the gambling ring have pleaded guilty and agreed to forfeit approximately $1.4 million.