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Press Release

Father and Son Plead Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey D. Hill (619) 546-7924 or

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas W. Pilchak (619) 546-9709 or

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ajay Krishnamurthy (619) 546-9613


NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – August 29, 2017


SAN DIEGO – Sanders Bruce Segal and his son, Sydney Bruce Segal, each pleaded guilty today to engaging in a racketeering conspiracy that operated for years out of the Lucky Lady Casino and Card Room and other locations in San Diego.


The defendants admitted at today’s hearing to participating in an international racketeering enterprise – Segal’s Lucky Lady Sports Book – that regularly engaged in unlawful activity such as bookmaking, transmitting wagering information, money laundering and collecting unlawful debts.


As outlined in the indictments, the Lucky Lady Casino and Card Room is a licensed gambling establishment that offers legitimate, tightly-regulated card games. Between 2013 and 2016, however, it also provided a front for Sanders Segal’s illegal bookmaking operations. Sydney Segal was an employee of the Lucky Lady Casino and Card Room, and used his position working in the cage to commingle cash from the card room’s lawful gambling operations with the proceeds of the enterprise’s unlawful sports betting.


In his plea agreement, Sanders Segal admitted his role as a leader and organizer of Segal’s Lucky Lady Sports Book. In this capacity, Sanders Segal directed the other members of the enterprise to use gambling websites based overseas to place illegal sports bets on behalf of customers located in the United States.


Sanders Segal and other conspirators also coordinated the unlawful collection of those illegal wagers, typically in cash, and sent and received large sums of cash on behalf of the enterprise. For example, Sanders Segal admitted that on April 2, 2015, he met co-defendant David Greg Leppo in a supermarket parking lot in Del Mar, California, and handed Leppo $10,000 in cash proceeds from illegal gambling.


Similarly, Sanders Segal admitted that on April 23, 2015, co-defendant Stanley Samuel Penn provided him with $20,000 in cash proceeds that Penn had been holding for the defendant, which Sanders Segal then delivered to co-defendant Petter Magnus Karlsson while at the Lucky Lady Casino and Card Room. Sanders Segal received 10% of any profits earned by the illegal sports bets placed through his enterprise, as well as additional financial benefits.


In his plea agreement, Sydney Bruce Segal admitted his role as bookkeeper for Segal’s Lucky Lady Sports Book, and specifically that he maintained records of winning and losing bettors and the amount of money that supported the enterprise’s activities held by him and other co-conspirators. Sydney Segal also admitted that cash from the Lucky Lady Casino and Card Room’s lawful gambling operations was held alongside proceeds of unlawful sports betting coordinated by Segal’s Lucky Lady Sports Book, including in a “player’s bank” provided by the card room.


As part of his plea, Sanders Segal agreed to forfeit $222,834, and Sydney Bruce Segal agreed to forfeit $10,000, each figure representing direct proceeds from their respective participation in the offense.


Twelve defendants have thus far pleaded guilty to federal charges as a result of the investigation targeting Segal’s Lucky Lady Sports Book: Sanders Bruce Segal, Petter Magnus Karlsson, Pablo Ballestero Frech, Sydney Bruce Segal, Joseph Edward Spatafore, Minh Triet Dinh Nguyen, James Heng Tear, Ken Pheng Keo, Jason D. Taylor, Jeffrey Alan Burke, Ryan Richard Buchardt and Robert Jay Zaben.


Sentencing for both Sanders Segal and Sydney Segal is scheduled for December 4, 2017 at 9 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez.


The two remaining defendants, Stanley Samuel Penn and David Greg Leppo, are charged with racketeering conspiracy and operating an illegal gambling business. Their cases are set for a motion hearing on August 31, 2017, and a jury trial on October 3, 2017, before Judge Benitez. The charges against these two defendants are merely accusations; they are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.


DEFENDANTS                                           Case Number: 16CR1695-BEN


Sanders Bruce Segal                                    Age 66                            San Diego

Sydney Bruce Segal                                     Age 34                            San Diego




Count 1: Racketeering Conspiracy to Conduct Enterprise Affairs (RICO Conspiracy), in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1962(c) & (d)

Maximum penalties: 20 years in prison, 3 years supervised release, a $250,000 fine, forfeiture




Federal Bureau of Investigation

San Diego Police Department

Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation



Updated August 30, 2017

Press Release Number: CAS17-0829-Segal