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Press Release

Five Stark County Residents Accused Of Laundering $530,000 From Illegal Bookmaking Operation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment charging five Stark County residents with being engaged in a conspiracy to launder more than $530,000 obtained through the operation of an illegal sports bookmaking operation, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Joseph D. Nemeth, age 49, Rhonda S. Albaugh, age 45, both of Uniontown, Ohio, Joseph M. Nemeth, age 75, Helen C. Nemeth, age 75, and Robert T. Johns, age 66, all of Canton, Ohio, are indicted in count one with conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

Joseph D. Nemeth faces an addition count of transmitting wagering information in interstate commerce. He is accused of being engaged in the business of betting and wagering and with using one or more wire communication facilities for the transmission and interstate commerce of bets and wagers and information assisting in the placing of bets and wagers on one or more sporting events and contests.

The indictment alleges that all of the defendants from conspired to launder at least $530,000 generated from an illegal sports bookmaking operation between 2004 and 2013.  All but $15,000 of these transactions occurred after November 1, 2008, according to the indictment.

Joseph D. Nemeth conducted a sports bookmaking operation by accepting wagers on professional and college basketball and football games. He collected a percentage off the bets and used offshore Internet gambling services to record and process bets placed by his gamblers. He travelled to various businesses and residential locations to meet with bettors, reconcile accounts and collect or pay money, according to the indictment.

Joseph D. Nemeth instructed Robert Johns and other gamblers to pay some of their loss debts to him by paying Rhonda Albaugh by check, which she then deposited into various bank accounts.

Joseph D. Nemeth and Albaugh opened numerous credit card and bank accounts and utilized them to receive payments from various gamblers. They also took illegal gambling proceeds and invested them into real estate and construction projects, which were titled in the names of others, including Helen Nemeth and Joseph M. Nemeth, according to the indictment.

If convicted, a defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including a defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, a defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the United States Secret Service and its Money Laundering Task Force.  The matter was presented to the grand jury by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert E. Bulford and Robert J. Patton.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilty.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated March 12, 2015