Thursday, April 30, 2015
Leader of an Illegal International Gambling Enterprise Convicted of Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering
A federal jury in Oklahoma City convicted a Texas man today of running an illegal international gambling enterprise and conspiring to commit money laundering, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Sanford C. Coats of the Western District of Oklahoma.
Bartice Alan King, aka “Luke,” 44, of Spring, Texas, was found guilty of conducting an illegal gambling business and engaging in a conspiracy to commit money laundering. A sentencing hearing has not yet been set.
According to evidence presented at trial, from 2003 to 2013, King was the owner, CEO and President of Legendz Sports, an Internet and telephone gambling enterprise based in Panama City, Panama. Over the course of a decade, the international gambling enterprise took more than $1 billon in illegal wagers, almost exclusively from gamblers in the United States on American sporting events.
The evidence demonstrated that after founding Legendz Sports, King directed and supervised a network of bookies located all over the United States, who illegally solicited and accepted sports wagers and settled gambling debts. The evidence further demonstrated that bookies and runners for Legendz Sports transported millions of dollars of gambling proceeds in cash and checks from the United States to Panama. The checks were made out to various shell companies created by Legendz Sports throughout Central America to launder gambling proceeds.
The evidence demonstrated that the illegal gambling proceeds were used to further promote the gambling business, including to pay employees, build a new multi-million dollar call center to take bets and build a “bank” of cash to pay future winning bettors. King used the profits to live a lavish lifestyle, including mansions in Florida and Texas.
The case was investigated by the FBI and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, with the assistance of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Marshals Service. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs also assisted with this investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney John S. Han of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Susan Dickerson Cox and Travis D. Smith of the Western District of Oklahoma.