FIVE CONVENIENCE STORE OWNERS PLEAD GUILTY TO
AIDING AND ABETTING IN AN ILLEGAL gamBLING BUSINESS
ATHENS: United States Attorney, Michael J. Moore, announces that on March 2, 2011,
Akshat Patel, Alap Patel, Nimish Patel, Byron Sexton and Witold Piekutowski pled guilty to aiding and abetting in an illegal gambling business. Rajeshkuma “Rocky” Patel pled guilty on February 2, 2011.
As part of their plea agreements, the defendants stipulated that they contracted with Heritage Amusement Company who would supply video gambling machines to the defendants’ convenience stores. There was an understanding that the defendants would illegally pay out cash winnings to the players of the video gambling machines thereby drawing in additional players. The defendants and Heritage Amusement then split the illegal profit gains from the video poker machines.
“These defendants profited not just from violating the law, but also from participating in an illegal enterprise which often times enticed money from customers who simply could not afford to lose it. The defendants preyed on people’s hopes for a better life,” Moore said.
The case was investigated by Special Agent William Salinski from the Internal Revenue Service and Senior Police Officer Mark Malueg from Athens Clarke County Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Kolman. Any inquires regarding the case should be directed to Ms. Sue McKinney, Community Relations Specialist, U.S. Attorney’s Office at (478) 752-3511.