News and Press Releases

joplin man sentenced for internet gambling

October 31, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Joplin, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for operating an illegal gambling operation over the Internet.

William Lisle, 57, of Joplin, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr to two years of probation (including six months of home detention) and ordered to pay a fine of $2,000. As a condition of his probation, Lisle may not enter any gambling establishment or engage in any type of gambling, including off-shore or Internet gambling. Lisle must forfeit to the government $98,263 that was seized from his residence by law enforcement, which was the proceeds of gambling activity.

Co-defendant Kenneth B. Lovett, 72, of Joplin, received the same sentence on Oct. 18, 2012.

Lisle and Lovett each pleaded guilty to using the Internet to transmit wagering information, including placing bets on sporting events, as part of their gambling business from Jan. 1, 2003, to Feb. 8, 2011. Lovett, who was primarily engaged in wagering on National Football League events, took on Lisle as a partner in 2006. Lisle and Lovett shared income and expenses equally until 2010, when Lisle’s share of income and expenses increased to 60 percent.

Lisle and Lovett utilized two Internet Web sites, with servers located in Costa Rica, to administer the bookmaking operation. Their gambling operation flourished when they began using the off shore gambling Web sites in 2006. The number of their customers and the amount they wagered increased. For example, according to the plea agreement, one gambler would wager as much as $35,000 a weekend during football season.

Lisle also pleaded guilty to money laundering. Lisle sent cashier’s checks, payable to a false name in an effort to conceal the transfer, to the Costa Rican company that operated the Web sites. Lisle’s plea agreement cites 15 instances in which he sent cashier’s checks (totaling $72,000) to Costa Rica via Federal Express as part of his scheme to launder money obtained from the gambling enterprise.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert. It was investigated by the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Joplin, Mo., Police Department.

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