Fifty-seven people have been charged in connection with what prosecutors are calling a $300-million conspiracy by Allied Veterans of the World to launder money via illegal gambling centers operating under the guise of internet cafes, according to a news release from the FDLE.
“Operation ‘Reveal the Deal’ uncovered a sophisticated racketeering and money laundering scheme stemming from 49 illegal gambling centers operating under the guise of ‘internet cafes,’ FDLE reported. “The organization falsely claimed to be a charitable veterans’ organization, but instead deceived the public and government while lining the pockets of its operators.”
The investigation comes as Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, who once did public relations for Allied Veterans of the World, resigned today. A news conference is happening this afternoon about her resignation.
On Tuesday, law enforcement officers began executing 54 search warrants and 57 arrest warrants in 23 Florida counties and five additional states, according to FDLE.
“Investigators are seizing slot machines and records from Allied Veterans of the World gambling centers across the state, as well as 80 vehicles and vessels, 170 properties, and 260 bank accounts estimated in the tens of millions of dollars,” FDLE reported.
The investigation involved local, state and federal law enforcement officials.
Identified as leading co-conspirators are: Johnny Duncan, 62, of Boiling Springs, S.C.; Jerry Bass, 62, of Jacksonville; Chase Burns, 37, of Fort Cobb, Okla., and Kelly Mathis, 49, also of Jacksonville.