Tuesday August 27,2013 : ALLEGED MASTERMIND OF INTERNET CAFÉ GAMBLING RING WANTS CHARGES DISMISSED
Allied Veterans lawyer faces some 200 charges, including a slew of money laundering allegations
Kelly Mathis, the lawyer whom prosecutors allege masterminded the $300 million US internet cafe charity gambling ring titled Allied Veterans has asked a Seminole County, Florida judge to dismiss some of the charges against him.
The Jacksonville attorney wants Judge Kenneth Lester to dismiss around 50 money laundering charges, arguing that the money he received from Allied Veterans was in respect of legal services rendered, and that if the charges stick it will have "a chilling effect" on how lawyers charge clients.
Judge Lester has yet to make a ruling on the motion.
The Allied Veterans scheme ran across several states and ultimately resulted in the arrest of 57 people, and the resignation of the Florida lieutenant governor, Jennifer Carroll.
Prosecutors claim that the veteran’s charity barely benefitted from the enterprise, which they claim used charity as a front. The defendants have mounted a series of defences that include claims that internet cafe sweepstakes operations do not constitute illegal gambling.
The trials are scheduled to commence next month, and could involve the appearance of high level political appointees, as evidence may be adduced to show allegedly questionable election campaign donations and how senior politicians regard internet cafes.
Florida lawmakers banned the Internet cafes during this year’s legislative session, apparently prompted by the arrests of the Allied Veterans defendants.