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Press Release

Huntington Woman Pleads Guilty to Role in Illegal Gambling Business

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Allison Jones, 46, of Huntington, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to conduct an illegal gambling business.

According to court documents and statements made in court, from September 20, 2020 until October 1, 2022, Jones was the online host for an illegal gambling business. Jones admitted to conducting online games of chance for the illegal gambling business on Facebook Live from her Huntington residence.

Jones further admitted that two primary administrators/organizers owned, directed, managed and controlled the illegal gambling business and that it also had several moderators who supervised the online games and handled any customer problems that arose during the games. Jones was among dozens of hosts who conducted the online games. The other members of the illegal gambling business were customers, online gamblers located throughout the United States who played the online games conducted by the illegal gambling business primarily by purchasing pull tabs from hosts.

Jones paid a monthly fee to the administrators/organizers and agreed to the terms they set in exchange for the right to conduct games in the illegal gambling business. Jones admitted that she typically hosted two to three online games per week and made money as a host by selling pull tabs. Online customers would comment in the online comment section for the illegal gambling business to indicate how much money they were wagering and then transfer money to Jones via an external online payment system. Jones would then pull the tabs while the customers watched on Facebook Live. When a customer won prize money, Jones would send the winnings to the customer via the external online payment system.

Jones received about 25 percent of the net sales of each box of pull tabs as her profit. Each box typically contained 4,000 tabs that Jones typically sold to customers for $1 a tab, earning her $600 to $800 per box. Jones further admitted that she purchased the pull tab games from a Charleston-area business about once per week with her profits from hosting online games.

Jones is scheduled to be sentenced on June 17, 2024, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorneys Andrew J. Tessman and Kristin F. Scott are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:24-cr-21. 




Updated March 4, 2024