Published On: Thu, Aug 15th, 2013

Five Billion Dollar Sports Gambling Ring Busted In North Texas – Company registered in Curacao

Offshore BettingPLANO, WILLEMSTAD – Law enforcement officials have busted a major sports gambling ring that originated in North Texas and generated more than $5.4 billion in bets.  The 12-year investigation has resulted in the convictions of 18 North Texans, who worked as bookies for the operation.

According to Plano police, the investigation started with a tip that came into the department in 2001.  At that time, an undercover officer made contact with a bookmaker affiliated with Global Internet Corporation, an offshore sports book headquartered in Curacao.

Throughout the investigation, law enforcement identified 18 people who accepted professional and college sporting event bets through more than two-dozen websites hosted in Curacao.   Some of those bets were placed by undercover officers, as explained by U.S. Attorney John M. Bales.

“The team used undercover operatives who acted as bettors.  They opened undercover bank accounts and executed court ordered intercepts of three of the gambling websites.  Virtually every meeting was electronically monitored and the undercover agents placed almost 300 bets,” he said.

From January 2007 until February 2011, the gambling ring made more than $200 million in profits.  Law enforcement executed 79 search and seizure warrants in early 2011, taking stacks of cash, cars, homes, sports memorabilia, and other property.

All 18 defendants have pleaded guilty to a range of crimes including money laundering, illegal gambling, and tax violations.

  • Albert Sydney Reed, Jr., 57, of Southlake, Texas, was convicted of prohibition of illegal gambling business and sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in federal prison.
  • Curtis Wayne Higgins, 45, of Proper, Texas, was convicted of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from illegal gambling and sentenced to 5 years of probation.
  • David Mullins, 48, of Coppell, Texas, was convicted of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from illegal gambling and sentenced to 5 years of probation.
  • Dean Hartley Maddox, 69, of Houston, was convicted of willful failure to file a tax return and sentenced to 18 months of probation.
  • Carl Francis, 71, of Dallas, was convicted of prohibition of illegal gambling business and was sentenced to 3 years of probation, 6 months home confinement and 200 hours of community service.
  • Andrew Harris McElroy, 44, of Dallas, was convicted of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from illegal gambling and sentenced to 3 years of probation.
  • Steven Arnold Bell, 58, of Arlington, Texas, was convicted of prohibition of illegal gambling business and sentenced to 2 years of probation and 6 months home detention.
  • Neil Marcus Gerson, 51, of Frisco, Texas, was convicted of prohibition of illegal gambling business and sentenced to 2 years of probation.
  • Robert Primm, 71, of Fort Worth, was convicted of a violation of willful failure to file a tax return and sentenced to 6 months of probation.
  • Charles Albert Brawner, 66, of McKinney, Texas, was convicted of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from illegal gambling and sentenced to 5 years of probation.
  • Adam John Brady, 36, of Irving, Texas, was convicted of prohibition of illegal gambling business and sentenced to 2 years of probation.
  • William Craig Robertson, 42, of Rockwall, Texas, was convicted of prohibition of illegal gambling business and sentenced to 3 years of probation.
  • Thomas Applegate, 45, of Carrollton, Texas pleaded guilty to prohibition of illegal gambling business and is awaiting sentencing.
  • William Michael Christopher, 56, of Fort Worth, pleaded guilty to prohibition of illegal gambling business and is awaiting sentencing.
  • Larry Dean Coralli, 78, of Addison, Texas, pleaded guilty to prohibition of illegal gambling business and is awaiting sentencing.
  • Brent Lee Coralli, 48, of Plano, Texas, pleaded guilty to prohibition of illegal gambling business and is awaiting sentencing.
  • Robert Roy Hodges, 71, of Dallas, pleaded guilty to prohibition of illegal gambling business and is awaiting sentencing.
  • Gregg Richard Merkow, 49, of Plano, Texas, pleaded guilty to prohibition of illegal gambling business and is awaiting sentencing.

To date, the U.S. Government has collected more than $10 million from the gambling ring’s illegal profits.  Nearly $5 million was presented to the Plano police for the department’s role in the investigation.

by Angela Martin & Stephanie Lucero

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