34 People - Mostly US Citizens - Charged in Probe of Illegal Sports Betting (Based in Panama)
Wednesday, April 10 2013 @ 06:32 PM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
The 95-page indictment, handed up by a federal grand jury in Oklahoma City on March 20, accuses the defendants of operating from San Jose, Costa Rica, and Panama City to take bets almost exclusively from gamblers in the U.S.
The indictment says that since 2003 the operation known as Legendz Sports used the companies to operate as payment processors, launder gambling funds and make payouts to customers. It alleges a conspiracy and accuses the defendants of violating federal racketeering and money laundering statutes as well as operating an illegal gambling business.
The indictment also accuses the defendants of violating illegal gambling statutes in several states, including Oklahoma, California, Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, New York and Texas.
"Legendz Sports solicited millions of illegal bets totaling over $1 billion on sports and sporting events from gamblers in the United States," the indictment alleges. As part of the conspiracy, Legendz Sports operated Internet websites and telephone gambling services from facilities located in Panama, the indictment says.
U.S. Attorney Sanford Coats of Oklahoma City said the charges culminated a multiyear investigation by the FBI and Internal Revenue Service.
"The defendants cannot hide the allegedly illegal sports gambling operation behind corporate veils or state and international boundaries," Coats said.
The acting chief of the Justice Department's criminal division, Mythili Raman, said the government is determined to crack down on illegal online gambling by U.S. citizens, regardless of where the business operates or where the defendants live.
"These defendants allegedly participated in an illegal sports gambling business, lining their pockets with profits from over a billion dollars in illegal gambling proceeds," Raman said.
Among the individual defendants listed in the indictment is Bartice Alan King, 42, of Spring, Texas, who's accused of conspiring with others to operate gambling services that took wagers almost exclusively from U.S. gamblers.
The enterprise allegedly used bookies in the U.S. to illegally solicit and accept sports wagers as well as settle gambling debts. The 34 individual defendants were allegedly employees, members and associates of the Legendz Sports enterprise, the indictment says.
Bob Troester, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Oklahoma City, said King remained at large Wednesday but that 22 other defendants including King's former wife, Serena Monique King, had been taken into custody.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison for racketeering, up to 20 years for conspiring to commit money laundering, up to 10 years for money laundering and up to five years for operating an illegal gambling business.
In addition, the indictment seeks forfeiture of at least $1 billion in numerous assets including real estate, bank accounts, brokerage and investment accounts, certificates of deposit, IRAs, domain names, an aircraft, a gas lease and several vehicles.
Troester said the investigation is not related to illegal gambling charges against Teddy Mitchell, 58, who is awaiting trial on a federal indictment that accuses him of making millions of dollars by hosting illegal high-stakes poker games at his Oklahoma City home and by illegally taking bets on sporting events.
"This is a completely separate case," Troester said.
Editor's Comment: This investigation, which involved more than a billion dollars in illegal online sports betting, will be a huge headline in Panama once the local news media outlets realize what's going on. What follows below is a full list of the defendants, the original release by the Justice Department, and a link to the indictment itself. (more)
- LEGENDZ SPORTS DEFENDANTS
- NAME AGE RESIDENCE
- 1. BARTICE ALAN KING (a/k/a “Luke” “Cool”) 42 Spring, TX
- 2. SERENA MONEEQUE KING 43 Spring, TX
- 3. SPIROS ATHANAS (a/k/a “The Greek”) 53 Gilford, NH
- 4. ROBERT JOSEPH ROLLY (a/k/a “Bob”) 79 Key West, FL
- 5. KASSANDRA BATES 43 Panama (a/k/a “Sandra” “Sandra Teresita Vargas Farrier”)
- 6. WILLIAM JAMES BATES 59 Panama (a/k/a “Bill” “Billy” “Wild Bill”)
- 7. EDWARD LOUIS BUONANNO 50 Spring, TX (a/k/a “Gooch” “Bubbles”)
- 8. KORY ELWIN KORALEWSKI (a/k/a “Ski”) 42 Parker, CO
- 9. MAXIMILLIAN MCLAREN MANGUS (a/k/a “Max”) 34 Panama
- 10. MARIA ROJAS 36 Panama (a/k/a “Mary North” “Mary Isabel Rojas Mata”)
- 11. ARTURO GARCIA JIMENEZ 41 Panama
- 12. RIGOBERTO NOLAN (a/k/a “Rigoberto Nolan Forbes”) 53 Panama
- 13. JAVIER ESPINOSA (a/k/a “Javier Espinosa Jimenez”) 37 Panama
- 14. DAVID GORDON 75 Canada
- 15. JAMES FRANKLIN ACKER, III, 54 Moore, OK (a/k/a “Frank” “Frank The Bank”)
- 16. TERRY LEE CAMPBELL (a/k/a “Top Cat” “Gato”) 70 Lake Ozark, MO
- 17. RALPH GEORGE HERNANDEZ 73 Pleasanton, CA (a/k/a “Georgie”“Rico”)
- 18. DEREK EDWARD HEWITT (a/k/a “D”) 52 Altamonte Springs, FL
- 19. MICHAEL CASEY LAWHORN 47 Longwood, FL (a/k/a “Fat Mikey” “Big Mike”)
- 20. JOSEPH MICHAEL MCFADDEN 56 Longwood, FL (a/k/a “Joe” “Roll Tide”)
- 21. BRUCE LANDEN MIDDLEBROOK 44 Edmond, OK (a/k/a “Jose” “Jose C”)
- 22. GREGORY WILSON ROBERTS (a/k/a “Patchman”) 54 Gadsden, AL
- 23. CHRISTOPHER LEE TANNER 56 Sarasota, FL (a/k/a “CT” “Limo” “Tan” “Magic” )
- 24. PAUL FRANCIS TUCKER (a/k/a “Paul”) 48 Mount Dora, FL
- 25. ROBERT C. VANETTEN, JR. 51 Moore, OK (a/k/a “Bob” “Fbobv” “Bingo Bob”)
- 26. ROBERT PAUL WILSON (a/k/a “Big Dog” “Cliff”) 65 Rancho Murieta, CA
- 27. LEON MARK MORAN, II 52 Kingsburg, CA (a/k/a Makavelli” “Mastiff”)
- 28. NEIL JOHN MYLER (a/k/a “Bono”) 53 Houston, TX
- 29. LUIS ROBLES (a/k/a “Big Lou”) 48 St. Beach, FL
- 30. DAVID LYNN ROSS (a/k/a “OB” Obie”) 51 Choctaw, OK
- 31. JAMES LESTER ACKER (a/k/a “Les”) 30 Moore, OK
- 32. KELLY JAMES DORN 51 Oklahoma City, OK
- 33. TODD WILLIAM HOSS 47 Norman, OK
- 34. ROBERT ANTHONY LAY (a/k/a/ “Tony”) 48 Moore, OK
- 35. MAGNA TOURS, INC. Registered in Panama
- 36. DATA SUPPORT SERVICES, S.A. Registered in Panama
- 37. LEGENDZ GAMING CORP. Registered in Panama
- 38. GRUPO LEGENDZ, S.A Registered in Panama
- 39. OMNI GROUP INTERNATIONAL CORP. Registered in Panama
- 40. GLOBAL DATA PAYMENT SERVICES, S.A. Registered in Panama
- 41. JR GROUP, INC. Registered in Panama
- 42. DSS INTERNATIONAL CORP. Registered in Panama
- 43. UDS INTERNATIONAL SOFTWARE, INC. Registered in Panama
- 44. INVESTMENT CONSULTING SERVICES (ICS), S.A. Registered in Panama
- 45. OLMOS OVERSEAS, LTD. Registered in Panama
- 46. REGENCY COMMERCIAL LIMITADA Registered in Costa Rica
- 47. STARTING 5, LLC Registered in Texas
- 48. INTERNATIONAL GOLDSTORE CORP. Registered in Panama
- 49. TEN GRANDCHILDREN FOUNDATION _________________
- 50. DIGILUME, INC. Registered in Panama
- 51 PROGRAM ADVISORS, INC. Registered in Panama
- 52. ZAPT ELECTRICAL SALES, INC. Registered in Florida
- 53. PLPA AND ASSOCIATES, INC. Registered in Florida
- 54. CAN-AM, LLC Registered in Colorado
- 55. ZIMA HOLDINGS, LLC Registered in Texas
- 56. 6 MONKEYS S. DE R. L Registered in Belize
- 57. STARLINK INVESTISSEMENTS, INC. Registered in Panama
- The public is reminded that the indictment is merely an accusation and that the defendants are each presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
- Here is a link to the 95 page indictment itself which also seeks the forfeiture of more than $1 billion dollars in bank accounts, real estate, assets, and things like vehicles from the defendants.
Editor's Comment: This investigation has been going on for a long time. I just read the entire indictment. From the text it is apparent the investigators gathered intelligence and evidence for this case through wiretaps, monitoring email traffic, "dumpster diving", and listening to conversations held by the defendants - including at locations here in Panama.
Copyright 2013 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.