Thursday, September 14, 2006

Lexington Herald-Leader | 09/12/2006 | Bingo tax-evasion trial opens

Lexington Herald-Leader 09/12/2006 Bingo tax-evasion trial opens: "Taylor said that crooked bingo dealers buy bootleg pull-tab games, which are similar to lottery tickets, that are not registered and therefore cannot be tracked. Charities can then sell the bootleg games and pocket the proceeds.
Another way to pocket money without being detected is to pick a 'house winner' to win. The winner then pays the operator a kickback. Operators can also sell more packets of bingo sheets but under-report the amount to charitable gaming regulators and pocket the proceeds.
But Michael Dean, the attorney for Tipton and Williams, said that representatives from the charities will testify that they are legitimate non-profit organizations and not a front for Tipton or her sisters.
Dean said much of the federal prosecutor's case was built on a tip from Roger Alexander, the former chief of the Waco Volunteer Fire Department, a convicted felon.
Alexander went to the state Office of Charitable Gaming with complaints that he was not able to run the Waco department's bingo games and that Tipton still largely controlled the bingo proceeds.
Alexander eventually started his own bingo hall in Berea. In February, Alexander was convicted of diverting charity bingo proceeds of more than $100,000 over three years.
Office of Charitable Gaming inspectors began an investigation of Jackpot Bingo in 2000. Beverly Rogers, a former inspector and branch manager for the agency, testified yesterday that she went undercover in March 2000, visiting Jackpot Bingo as a paying patron four times.
On at least three nights, she found that the charities operating the bingo were selling bootleg pull tabs. Two of Tipton's sisters allegedly were selling bingo sheets on two different nights -- even though different charities were supp"
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