RE-TRIAL ORDERED FOR ALLEGED FLORIDA ONLINE GAMBLING RING LEADER (Update)
Kelly Mathis and Allied Veterans of the World case back in the headlines.
Florida lawyer Kelly Mathis and the massive $300 million Allied Veterans of the World online gambling bust which brought down the state lieutenant governor two years ago was back in the media spotlight Friday when Floridas Fifth District Court of Appeal ruled that Mathis deserves a new day in court.
The appeal court decided that the original trial judge should have allowed Mathis legal team to call certain witnesses to bolster its defence.
"Appellant argues, and we agree, that the trial court abused its discretion by excluding evidence supporting his theory of the defence," the appeals court panel wrote.
Our readers will recall that Mathis was convicted of leading a $300 million gambling ring that used a veterans’ charity as a front. The Jacksonville lawyer was convicted of 103 counts of racketeering, possessing slot machines and other charges and sentenced to six years in prison. He was accused of operating dozens of illegal internet cafes.
Of the 57 initially arrested in the Allied Veterans of the World case, Mathis was the only one to receive prison time.
The case resulted in a ban on internet cafes in 2013.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondis office said Friday that it is reviewing the courts opinion and determining its response.