Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 15, 2013

Local Police Department Recovers Proceeds from Dismantling Major Internet Gambling Operation

           PLANO, Texas – The federal government provided nearly $5 million in proceeds to the Plano Police Department after their joint efforts dismantled a major internet gambling operation, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales and IRS Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Madie Branch today.

            The Plano Police Department was presented a check in the amount of $4,753,841.40 at an asset sharing ceremony today at the Plano Police Department.  The check presentation was made by U.S. Attorney Bales and Acting SAC Branch. 

The Plano Police Department began an investigation in 2006 in which an undercover police detective developed a betting relationship with a bookmaker.  The bookmaker was part of a larger organization operating an offshore sports book that utilized toll free telephone numbers and the Internet as a means of accepting sports wagers from bettors located throughout the United States.  Further investigation revealed the illegal gambling organization originated in North Texas and had operated the offshore Internet sports book utilizing a corporate identity, global Internet Corporation (GIC), incorporated in Willemstad Curacao Netherlands Antilles, since September 2002.

The investigation identified 18 individuals who conspired to illegally accept wagers on college and professional sporting events through approximately 25 Internet websites hosted in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles.  The defendants provided bettors with a personal login code and password to facilitate the placement of wagers through the websites and to disguise their identities.  Bettors were then directed to specific websites or to toll free numbers operated by the websites where the bettors placed wagers on sporting events. 

On March 3 and 4, 2011, law enforcement officers executed 32 federal search warrants at residences, offices and safe-deposit boxes belonging to defendants.  During the course of the investigation, 47 seizure warrants were also served seizing numerous bank and investment accounts, automobiles, businesses, and real properties. The investigation disclosed that this illegal Internet wagering organization generated in excess of $5.4 billion in gross wagers resulting in approximately $200 million in illegal earnings to the defendants from January 2007 to February 2011.

All 18 defendants have pleaded guilty to various criminal violations including money laundering, illegal gambling, structuring and tax violations related to income derived from their illegal gambling enterprise.  To date, in excess of $10 million has been forfeited to the U.S. Government.  In addition to forfeiture of money and assets and court ordered fines, the defendants were sentenced as follows:

Albert Sydney Reed, Jr., 57, of Southlake, Texas, was convicted of prohibition of illegal gambling business and sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in federal prison.

Curtis Wayne Higgins, 45, of Proper, Texas, was convicted of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from illegal gambling and sentenced to 5 years of probation.

David Mullins, 48, of Coppell, Texas, was convicted of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from illegal gambling and sentenced to 5 years of probation.

Dean Hartley Maddox, 69, of Houston, was convicted of willful failure to file a tax return and sentenced to 18 months of probation.

Carl Francis, 71, of Dallas, was convicted of prohibition of illegal gambling business and was sentenced to 3 years of probation, 6 months home confinement and 200 hours of community service.

Andrew Harris McElroy, 44, of Dallas, was convicted of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from illegal gambling and sentenced to 3 years of probation.

Steven Arnold Bell, 58, of Arlington, Texas, was convicted of prohibition of illegal gambling business and sentenced to 2 years of probation and 6 months home detention.

Neil Marcus Gerson, 51, of Frisco, Texas, was convicted of prohibition of illegal gambling business and sentenced to 2 years of probation.

Robert Primm, 71, of Fort Worth, was convicted of a violation of willful failure to file a tax return and sentenced to 6 months of probation.

Charles Albert Brawner, 66, of McKinney, Texas, was convicted of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from illegal gambling and sentenced to 5 years of probation. 

Adam John Brady, 36, of Irving, Texas, was convicted of prohibition of illegal gambling business and sentenced to 2 years of probation.

William Craig Robertson, 42, of Rockwall, Texas, was convicted of prohibition of illegal gambling business and sentenced to 3 years of probation.

Thomas Applegate, 45, of Carrollton, Texas pleaded guilty to prohibition of illegal gambling business and is awaiting sentencing.

William Michael Christopher, 56, of Fort Worth, pleaded guilty to prohibition of illegal gambling business and is awaiting sentencing.

Larry Dean Coralli, 78, of Addison, Texas, pleaded guilty to prohibition of illegal gambling business and is awaiting sentencing.

Brent Lee Coralli, 48, of Plano, Texas, pleaded guilty to prohibition of illegal gambling business and is awaiting sentencing.

Robert Roy Hodges, 71, of Dallas, pleaded guilty to prohibition of illegal gambling business and is awaiting sentencing.

Gregg Richard Merkow, 49, of Plano, Texas, pleaded guilty to prohibition of illegal gambling business and is awaiting sentencing.

“Taking away the assets from these illegal organizations hits criminals where it hurts the most – it deprives them of their profits,” said Madie Branch, Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation. “Today, we are transferring those seized profits from the criminals and giving them back to the communities.”

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Milton A. Stover and the investigation was led by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and Plano Police Department.  Additional agencies that assisted in the investigation and will be receiving proceeds at a later date include: Dallas Police Department, Denton County District Attorney’s Office, Flower Mound Police Department, Fort Worth Police Department, Arlington Police Department, Midlothian Police Department, Desoto Police Department, and Southlake Police Department.



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