A former Indiana on line casino mogul has pleaded responsible to tax fraud. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
John Keeler accepts deal for tax fraud
A former Indiana on line casino baron pleaded responsible to tax fraud for falsely concealing cash on tax returns in a scheme to direct funds to a political motion committee (PAC).
diverted greater than $40,000 in company funds
72-year-old John Keeler diverted greater than $40,000 in company funds as donations to an affiliate of the Marion County Republican Occasion. He plead responsible one hour earlier than his trial within the U.S. District Court docket in Indianapolis was set to start.
The previous vice chairman of gaming firm New Centaur LLC despatched the cash to a intermediary for the Larger Indianapolis Republican Finance Committee. The prosecution agreed to drop 5 different expenses in opposition to Keeler as a part of his plea settlement. Keeler will now should pay $14,350 in restitution.
The fallout from the plea settlement
Keeler’s tax fraud plea settlement comes one week after his co-defendant, Senator Daryl Brent Waltz, pleaded responsible to different expenses stemming from $40,500 of unlawful contributions utilized in an unsuccessful 2016 congressional marketing campaign. The legislator had been in workplace for 12 years earlier than flopping within the GOP major for the ninth congressional district.
Keeler needed to assist the then-struggling Marion County Republican Occasion, based on the plea settlement. Nonetheless, the previous VP believed that Indiana regulation prevented donations from playing entities.
The Indiana playing magnate additionally admitted to working with an out-of-state marketing consultant, Kelley Rogers of Maryland, to funnel $25,000 to the Marion County Republican Occasion. Rogers’ firms despatched pretend invoices to Keeler and would then direct the cash to the PAC.
One other pillar of the case in opposition to Keeler was his alleged misdirection of funds from straw donors to Waltz.
The plea settlement resulted in these expenses in opposition to Keeler being dropped.
The FBI’s prolonged investigation of Spectacle Leisure led to Waltz’s and Keeler’s indictments; the findings prompted the Indiana Gaming Fee to strip the group’s possession of tasks for 2 new casinos in Indiana.
The fee additionally levied monetary misconduct allegations in opposition to former Spectacle CEO Rod Ratcliff. He finally gave up his state on line casino license, which ended his long-standing tenure as a number one determine in Indiana’s playing area.
not too long ago criticized prosecutors for calling him a co-conspirator
Ratcliff stays agency that he's harmless. A well known donor to former President Donald Trump and different Republicans, he not too long ago criticized prosecutors for calling him a co-conspirator within the case. Though no prison expenses have been filed in opposition to Ratcliff, he additionally famous that he has been “falsely accused” of wrongdoing and has not been knowledgeable that he's a goal of an investigation.
Ratcliff labored with Keeler at Centaur, which bought racetracks in Anderson and Shelbyville to Caesars Leisure for $1.7bn in 2018. They continued this partnership as leaders of a bunch that then based Spectacle Leisure to purchase the Gary on line casino operation.
Each Keeler and Waltz are nonetheless awaiting their sentencing. Waltz faces as much as 10 years in jail, whereas Keeler faces a most of three years.