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Six Charged in Ohio with Operating an Illegal Gambling Business and Other Related Offenses
According to the indictment, between February 2004 and May 2011, Powers oversaw the recruitment of local charitable organizations to sponsor casino-like card games, such as Texas Hold’Em poker tournaments and live-action poker games (poker fundraisers), that were exempted from the general prohibition against games of chance under then-existing Ohio laws. The indictment alleges that Powers skimmed a portion of the money received from the poker fundraisers while providing false accountings of the money generated to the charitable organizations that they were meant to benefit. The indictment further alleges that Sanders, Pulaski, Gedeon, Williams, Dyer and other co-conspirators who worked as card dealers, cashiers, chip sellers, pit bosses, tournament directors and managers, received compensation for their roles in conducting the poker fundraisers in violation of Ohio law, at Powers’ direction. The indictment further alleges that each of the defendants claimed that they were uncompensated volunteers and that several of them deliberately misled investigators of the State of Ohio’s Attorney General’s Office and the IRS during the investigation.
According to the indictment, Powers further conspired with another individual to sell RLVS and its associated real estate so that it appeared as if the business was sold for an amount less than its actual sale price, in an effort by Powers to evade the payment of taxes. According to the indictment, Dyer, Pulaski, Gedeon, and Williams further committed obstruction of justice by testifying falsely before a federal grand jury investigating the poker scheme. Additionally, Powers is charged with tampering with a witness by allegedly instructing the witness to testify falsely to the federal grand jury.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. District Judge Timothy Black for the Southern District of Ohio will be presiding over the case after the arraignment of the defendants. If convicted, Powers faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, and five years of supervised release. If convicted, Pulaski, Gedeon, Williams and Dyer each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $750,000 and three years of supervised release. If convicted, Sanders faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison, a fine of $500,000 and three years of supervised release.
This case was investigated by special agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Jorge Almonte and Stephen Descano of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
Additional information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/ .