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Posted on August 16, 2013 Tom Jones
Texas authorities issued a past 10-year investigation into an illegal gambling operation spanning several continents. Eventually, the authorities eliminated the main players in a multi-billion dollar operation.
Albert Reed Jr. he was the mastermind behind a gambling operation that brought in over $ 1 million in a single bet. Overall, the operation is said to have processed more than $ 1 billion at plants in the states across the United States.
"Six or seven digits," said US prosecutor for East Texas County John Bales, speaking of the amount of money wagered on single bets. "... of course we are in great time here."
The bust that was made in North Texas brought 18 defendants. All defendants pleaded guilty to various gambling-related charges, but only one, Reed Jr., will remain behind bars. Reed Jr. he received a sentence of one year and a day, while the remaining 17 sentenced persons received various forms of suspension, suspended or under house arrest.
"They receive sentences I would consider lenient," said Bates. "But the guidelines on sentencing for gambling are fairly low and in fact predict that for the first time criminals may be given a suspended suspension."
In many of the cases where gambling occurs, prosecutors are pursuing more serious allegations, such as money laundering, but in this case most of the accused have raised allegations that illegal gambling has been prohibited.
Several defendants are still awaiting sentences, but no prison terms are expected.
The investigation began in 2006 when an anonymous letter was written to the authorities warning them of the gambling operation. Subsequently, investigators and undercover agents began infiltrating the operation, finding out that hundreds of people had been used as agents in the betting program.
Bets have been placed online through a website operated by Curacao. Gambling is legal in Curacao, however the operation became illegal when funds were transferred in the US where sports betting is illegal outside Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada.