September 17, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
MARCIA A. MURPHY
(410) 209-4854

BETHESDA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL GAMBLING CHARGE
AND FILING A FALSE INCOME TAX RETURN

Greenbelt - United States Attorney Thomas M. DiBiagio announced that Howard Meyers, 53, of Bethesda, pleaded guilty today to Engaging in an Illegal Gambling Business and Filing a False Income Tax Return, in connection with an illegal bookmaking operation Meyers operated with several partners in Montgomery County from 1985 to March 2000. Meyers faces a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on the gambling charge and three years imprisonment and a $100,000 fine on the tax charge. U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. has set sentencing for December 12, 2001 at 9:30 a.m.

According to the Statement of Facts presented at the guilty plea, Meyers was in partnership in an illegal bookmaking operation with another individual, based primarily in Rockville. The operation accepted wagers for professional and college football and basketball games. The partners would meet at restaurants around the area, including Sibels Restaurant and the Layhill Café, to calculate the weekly profits and expenses. The partnership grew to include three other people and expanded to locations in Howard and Frederick counties. Search warrants executed at various locations seized numerous gambling-related items, including betting slips, lists with bettors names and codes, game schedules and several cellular phones that were being used to accept bets. A subsequent search warrant also seized more than $2,000. According to the Statement of Facts, Meyers also failed to include income generated by the bookmaking operation on his federal income tax returns for tax years 1994 through 1998, resulting in $60,763 in total tax still owed

Three other men have pleaded guilty to charges relating to this bookmaking operation, including Dimitrios Fragoyannis, Russell Greenman and Todd Michaelson. William Membrino was also charged in a separate indictment and is scheduled to go to trial on November 6, 2001. The investigation is continuing.

The case is being investigated by Special Agents of IRS Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan E. Foreman.