FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
MAY 9, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AMUSEMENT GAMES SUPPLY COMPANY PLEADS GUILTY
TO MONEY LAUNDERING
Ordered to Forfeit $2.5 Million in Proceeds from Illegal Slot Machines
Baltimore, Maryland - Truck Stop Games, an amusement game supply company based in Virginia, pleaded guilty to money laundering yesterday and was ordered to forfeit $2.5 million, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. As part of the plea agreement, Truck Stop Games’ representative delivered to the court yesterday a check in the amount of $700,000, payable to the United States Internal Revenue Service.
According to the plea agreement presented to the court, from at least January 2002 through February 2005, Truck Stop Games contracted to place a number of slot machines in three truck stops in Maryland that were operated by TravelCenters of America (“TravelCenters”). The slot machines were also known as redemption machines because points won were redeemed for merchandise or food. In the normal operation of these slot machines, a player inserted money into the machine, pushed one or more buttons, and was awarded points that could be converted by a TravelCenters cashier to a printed voucher that represented money and could be redeemed to purchase food and other items at the truck stop. These machines were illegal gaming devices under Maryland law.
At least once per week, a Truck Stop Games collector went to each of the three TravelCenters truck stops in Maryland and removed the cash proceeds from the slot machines. At each location, the manager or another employee would present the vouchers that had been redeemed, and the collector would use the machine proceeds to reimburse TravelCenters for the value of those vouchers. The remaining cash proceeds were then split so that 60% went to TravelCenters and the remaining 40% went to Truck Stop Games, as per their contract. The collectors would then deposit Truck Stop Games’ portion of the cash proceeds into a bank account in Maryland. Truck Stop Games’ net cash proceeds totaled approximately $2.5 million.
In a related civil action TravelCenters agreed to forfeit $4.2 million to settle a separate civil forfeiture complaint alleging that money seized from the slot machines was involved in money laundering transactions.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Maryland State Police, Baltimore County Police Department, Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office, and the Virginia Attorney General’s Office for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard C. Kay, who prosecuted the case.