FL - 57 indicted in Allied Veterans illegal gambling scandal

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Reader, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    http://www.centurylink.net/news/rea...ass&action=5&lang=en&_LT=UNLC_USNWU00L5_UNEWS

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A sweeping multistate investigation of a purported veterans' charity based in Florida has led to nearly 60 people indicted and the resignation of the state's lieutenant governor.

    Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll once did public relations for the charity Allied Veterans of the World. She was questioned in the investigation, but she has not been charged with wrongdoing.

    Authorities said Wednesday they have issued 57 arrest warrants in Florida and five other states. Attorney General Pam Bondi says charges will include racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering and possession of slot machines.

    More at link.....
     
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  3. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    A guide to the resignation of Florida's lt. gov.

    http://www.centurylink.net/news/rea...ion=1&lang=en&_LT=UNLC_NKNWU00L1_UNEWS&page=1

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll has resigned and authorities have announced that nearly 60 people have been charged in a scandal that involves Internet cafes. Authorities say the cafes are really are illegal casinos, and those involved have been using a purported veterans charity to siphon off millions of dollars the cafes generate. Authorities say the charity was a front for a $300 million gambling operation.

    The public relations firm Carroll co-owned did work for the charity. She has not been charged with a crime and has denied doing anything wrong. She resigned a day after being questioned about the case.

    Here's a glance detailing who Carroll is, what these Internet cafes do, the main players in the widening scandal and what is expected next:

    ———

    JENNIFER CARROLL

    Fifty-three-year-old Jennifer Carroll emigrated from Trinidad when she was 8 and joined the Navy as a jet mechanic. She moved up the ranks, retiring after 20 years as a lieutenant commander. The Republican was elected to the state House in 2003. She also was executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs. She owned and operated at least two public relations firms in Jacksonville. One of her clients was the St. Augustine-based charity Allied Veterans of the World, which is at the center of this scandal. After Rick Scott won the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2010, he selected Carroll as his running mate and she became the first black woman to be Florida's lieutenant governor..............more at link.....
     
  4. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    Fla. charity probe to next focus on campaign money

    http://www.centurylink.net/news/read.php?id=19374880&ps=1011&cat=&cps=0&lang=en

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The next phase of an investigation into a veterans charity accused of being a front for a $300 million gambling operation will focus on the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on lobbying and campaigns donations, authorities said.

    Nearly 60 people were charged in the probe so far and Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll stepped down after being questioned by investigators. While authorities wouldn't talk specifics Wednesday, records showed the Florida-based charity Allied Veterans of the World and another company involved in the alleged fraud have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbying and political campaigns in Florida.

    Allied Veterans ran nearly 50 Internet parlors with computerized slot machine-style games and gave little to veterans, instead lavishing millions on charity leaders, spending it on boats, beachfront condos and Maseratis, Ferraris and Porsches, authorities said.

    From 2007 to early 2012, investigators said they found evidence of nearly $6 million in what appeared to be charitable donations — only about 2 percent of the nearly $300 million made from gambling during that period.

    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi called the alleged scam "callous" and "despicable" and said it "insults every American who ever wore a military uniform."

    Carroll was not charged with any wrongdoing. A public relations firm she once co-owned, 3 N& JC, did work for Allied Veterans. A Navy veteran who served in the Gulf War, Carroll also appeared in a TV ad in 2011 promoting the organization's work on behalf of veterans and their families...........

    Records showed Allied Veterans paid at least $490,000 to Florida lobbyists between 2009 and 2012. International Internet Technologies, the software company that investigators said created the products used at the gambling centers, spent more than $1.2 million on Florida lobbyists during that same period. All of International Internet Technologies' Florida lobbyists resigned Wednesday..............

    Much more at link.....
     
  5. noZme

    noZme Active Member

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    Using a veteran's organization to front this dirty business makes it even more despicable! I hope the guilty ones have a long time to sit in prison remembering their ill-gotten boats, beachfront condos and Maseratis, Ferraris and Porsches.

    God Bless our veterans!
     
  6. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    APNewsBreak: Fla. to probe 2nd sweepstakes chain

    http://www.centurylink.net/news/rea...ass&action=5&lang=en&_LT=UNLC_USNWU00L5_UNEWS

    ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) — Fresh off a nearly $300 million racketeering case involving a veterans' charity that benefited from simulated gambling at Internet cafes, Florida regulators will investigate a children's cancer group connected to a sweepstakes network that is four times bigger.

    The new probe comes in response to Associated Press inquiries about Children's Cancer Cooperative, a group that operates out of a South Carolina bingo parlor, shares a lawyer with Allied Veterans of the World and has collected cash from more than 200 of the sweepstakes cafes in Florida.

    In exchange for the money that has flowed into the Children's Cancer Cooperative from the cafes, the charity's name is listed as sponsoring sweepstakes prizes offered at the cafes, giving players the impression money lost on the fast-moving games mimicking Vegas-style slots goes to help sick kids.

    As with the Allied Veterans case announced earlier this month, the central questions will be how much money the cafes raised, how much of that should have been taxed, and how much ultimately went to charity.

    When authorities in Florida charged 57 people in the Allied Veterans case, they labeled Jacksonville attorney Kelly Mathis — who has also for years represented Children's Cancer Cooperative — the architect of the scheme..........

    The Florida House overwhelmingly approved a bill Friday that seeks to outlaw sweepstakes gaming.

    Much more at 4 p. article....
     
  7. i.b.nora

    i.b.nora I am polka dot

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    Florida is a strange place, imo.
     
  8. RiverRat

    RiverRat Patsy Ramsey to the Left

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    Survival of the Fittest!!! :slapfight:
     
  9. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    Sometimes..lol...but there are crooks and gamblers everywhere, Fl. is just on a larger scale..with the lax rules on business regulation this type of stuff has been encouraged...IMO...

    I live in a small town and there were 3 internet gambling stores operating, only 1 left now, soon to be gone I hope..
     
  10. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    Attorney in Fla. gambling scheme found guilty

    http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S2962933.shtml?cat=600

    (AP) SANFORD, Fla. - A Florida attorney who says he only was giving legal advice was convicted of helping establish a $300 million gambling venture that operated under the guise of a veterans’ charity.

    Six jurors deliberated for more than 14 hours over two days before finding Kelly Mathis of Jacksonville guilty of possessing slot machines, helping to operate a lottery and racketeering. He was convicted of all but one of 104 counts against him.........

    Mathis faces the possibility of dozens of years in prison.

    His attorney, Mitch Stone, said the fight wasn’t over. Mathis’ attorneys have said they were constrained in their defense presentation by a judge’s ruling that limited the evidence they could introduce.......

    Mathis was the first of 57 defendants to go to trial in a case that led to the resignation of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, who had worked as a consultant for the Allied Veterans charity. She wasn’t charged with any crime. The arrests also led the Florida Legislature to ban Internet cafes in the state earlier this year.

    About half of the defendants have reached some kind of agreement with prosecutors. The rest have yet to have their cases resolved.......

    During the three-week trial, prosecutors called a 78-year-old woman who testified that she gambled every night and spent more than $55,000. They also called a retired Army colonel who testified he had stopped by an Allied Veterans affiliate thinking it was a place for veterans to get help but instead found what looked like dozens of slot machines.......more......
     

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