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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

KC Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Gambling Operation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to operating an illegal gambling business that generated nearly $4 million in bets placed during its final year of operation.


Hoang Pham, 49, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan to conducting an illegal gambling business and participating in a money laundering conspiracy.


By pleading guilty today, Pham admitted that he operated an illegal gambling business from at least 2008 to February 2012. Pham used Costa Rican Web sites to run his bookmaking operation. The gross revenue of Pham’s illegal gambling business exceeded $2,000 per day on multiple days during the operation of the business. Evidence obtained during the course of the investigation indicated that, in approximately a one-year period from Jan. 1, 2011, to Feb. 9, 2012, bets totaling $3,788,635 were placed in Hoang Pham’s operation.


Pham settled up with his bettors on a weekly basis and, typically, the transfer of funds would be in cash. Pham and his partners conspired to use a number of bank accounts and businesses to conduct financial transactions designed to conceal the nature, location, source, ownership and control of the proceeds of the illegal gambling operation and to engage in financial transactions that involved the proceeds of the illegal gambling business. These accounts included their personal bank accounts and their business accounts.


In a separate civil proceeding, Pham has forfeited to the government $56,437, which represents the proceeds of his illegal conduct and was seized by law enforcement officers during the execution of a search warrant.


Under federal statutes, Pham is subject to a sentence of up to 25 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $750,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce E. Clark. It was investigated by the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation.

Updated April 8, 2015