After Busting Up an Enormous Offshore Gambling Ring, Plano Police Net a Cool $4.8 Million Profit

Categories: Crime

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In 2006, Plano police received a tip that a bookmaker there was illegally taking bets on pro and college sporting events. They began looking into the matter and had an undercover cop call the man up and put in one wager, then another. In relatively short order, Plano PD had plenty of evidence that the bookie was violating gambling laws.

By that point, however, they had realized that the man was just a small cog in an enormous multi-billion-dollar illegal gambling operation. According to court documents, the operation was headed by Albert Sidney Reed Jr., a 57-year-old from Southlake who operated about 25 Caribbean-based gambling websites that accepted wagers from bettors throughout the U.S.

The investigation wound up lasting five years and requiring help from more than a half dozen other local police departments and the criminal arm of the Internal Revenue Service. It climaxed over two days in March 2011, when law enforcement officers executed 32 federal search warrants at properties throughout North Texas, leading to the arrest and conviction of 18 people. And their operation was truly massive: $5.4 billion in wagers and $200 million in illegal earnings between January 2007 and February 2011, according to the feds.

All 18 defendants have entered guilty pleas, but the sentences that have been handed down so far have been remarkably light. Reed is the only one to get prison time, receiving a year and a day in federal lockup. The rest were given varying amounts of probation and community service. More than $10 million in cash and assets (Reed gave up several railroad tank cars and $11,000 in casino chips) has been forfeited to the federal government.

"Taking away the assets from these illegal organizations hits criminals where it hurts the most -- it deprives them of their profits," Madie Branch, acting head of the IRS's criminal arm, explained in a press release this morning. "Today, we are transferring those seized profits from the criminals and giving them back to the communities."

And by that, she means the $4.8 million in seized assets Plano PD is getting from the feds. They had a big check-passing ceremony today, meaning the bookies should probably go ahead and write that one off as a loss.

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19 comments
thewakeparty
thewakeparty

I'm betting they spent way more than they seized investigating this for 5 years.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

And why is gambling illegal?

People obviously want to do it.

Many other places legalized it.

If it was taxed and regulated, think how much more money the state would have collected, rather than spent on investigations.


John Stevenson
John Stevenson

4.8 million. That's cute. The guys behind this racked up about 1.2 billion. Plano needs a better bookie.

Sarah O'Rear
Sarah O'Rear

So glad we spent all that effort to finally close in on this horrendous-- oh.

Hulon_Pate
Hulon_Pate

Law Enforcement entities just want the money.      Its easy to take cash and bank accounts and seize assets.                                                                                                                                                           Most people will not contest anything.                                              Good for Plano. From Heroine with white suburban kids and illegal gambling. The city has everything.  

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Seems rather light.  Was all this income reported to the IRS as well.  I read they say gambling sentences have no teeth, but surely they could have RICO's these guys or hit em with a fat IRS tax bill and sentence them accordingly.  Methinks maybe there is more to this and more to bust higher up

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

Big day for Southlake on Unfair Park

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@Montemalone 

Gambling isn't illegal.  We have many gambling establishments in Texas.  And they are taxed and regulated. 

What sets this man apart is that he chose to operate his business outside of the law, and to evade taxes by laundering the money through shell companies.

Blaming the government for the choices criminals may go over well at Tea Party gatherings, but it doesn't work with reasonable and responsible people.

pdcgimpy
pdcgimpy

@Montemalone Jeebus says no.....so we have laws against it....as well as buying alcohol on sundays in some states.  Take a closer look at your politicians come voting season.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin 

It wasn't RICO'd for several reasons - mostly because there was no violence and everyone (except Reed) cooperated with the police as soon as they were caught..

Reed got a prison because he was the mastermind.  He set up the websites and the anonymizing services, and he coordinated the bets taken by the off-line bookies out in the tribal regions.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@bvckvs @ScottsMerkin true, but we got interstate commerce, mail fraud and all sorts of illegal action.  Im not against the gambling, it just seems so light for the amount of money they were running through.  

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@russp @ScottsMerkin @bvckvs 

Prosecutors work as much as 60hrs. per week and still take work home with them.

That's a lot of things - but lazy aint' one of them.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin @bvckvs 

Yeah - we could throw a lot of books at him.  But our courts don't have that kind of time on their hands.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@msbcez @russp @ScottsMerkin @bvckvs again, this all makes no sense though.  They spent 7 yrs building this case and 1 dude went away for a year.  Plano got 4.8 million, how much did they spend on the case

msbcez
msbcez

@russp @ScottsMerkin @bvckvs They should be lazy on it.  The guys suffered enough losing almost all hes profited from for more than 5 years.  No one was hurt, unless they take bets on credit, and break legs accordingly.  I don't see what harm they're doing other than violating a few politically motivated regulations.  The government is too harsh on nonviolent crime already,  need to get their priorities right, and stop trying to just prosecute everyone that walks in front of them to the fullest possible sentence!

russp
russp

@ScottsMerkin @bvckvs 

My guess would be lazy prosecutors and weak judges. And now you have the DOJ wanted to lessen sentences to help with jail over crowding.

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