Local Bingo Operators Charged with Fraud Conspiracy, Illegal Gambling Operation, and Money Laundering
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Larry L. Masino, 65, of Gulf Breeze, and Dixie L. Masino, 63, of Pensacola, were arraigned today in the U.S. District Court in Pensacola after a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging them with wire fraud conspiracy, operating an illegal gambling business, money laundering conspiracy, and money laundering. The indictment was announced by Christopher P. Canova, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
The indictment alleges that, between 2006 and 2015, Larry and Dixie Masino conspired to defraud local charities out of millions of dollars. The Masinos operated Racetrack Bingo Inc. in Fort Walton Beach on behalf of a number of charitable organizations in Okaloosa County. According to the indictment, Racetrack Bingo Inc. was an illegal gambling business in violation of Florida law because the Masinos compensated themselves and their employees, instead of using bona fide charity members, to run bingo games. The indictment further alleges that the Masinos charged the charities grossly inflated lease fees. By law, those proceeds should have gone to the charities. The indictment also alleges that Larry and Dixie Masino conspired to launder more than $5.8 million in proceeds of their illegal bingo operation through the deposit of profit distribution checks from Racetrack Bingo Inc. The trial is scheduled for April 18, 2016.
This case resulted from a joint investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Alicia H. Kim is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. The office strives to protect and serve the citizens of the Northern District of Florida through the ethical, vigorous, and impartial enforcement of the laws of the United States, to defend the national security, to improve the safety and quality of life in our communities through the protection of civil rights, and to protect the public funds and financial assets of the United States. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.
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