Florida Attorney Gets Six Years for Masterminding Internet Gambling Scam

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The Florida attorney, held to be the mastermind behind the Allied Veterans Internet gambling scam that led to the resignation of the Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll was sentenced to six years in prison. Kelly Mathis of Jacksonville, Florida was sentenced for masterminding a $300 million gambling ring. He was convicted of a total of 103 counts ranging from racketeering to processing slot machines.

Mathis is one of the 57 defendants in the case that used an organization named Allied Veterans to skim $300 million from Internet cafes in six states. The group was apparently created as a nonprofit organization for veterans and was in operation since 1979. The group operated 49 Internet cafes in Florida, and it was found that out of the $300 million raised by the group through Internet gambling, only $6 million made its way in the form of charitable donations to veterans.

The people who mainly benefited from the scam included Mathis and three others, including Jerry Bass, titled National Commander of Allied Veterans, and Chase Burns, the owner of International Internet Technologies. According to the authorities, IIT received about $68 million from the gambling centers that it helped to run with its technical know-how and services.

The fourth member of the group, Johnny Duncan, 62, is known as a professional scammer, and was charged in 1987 for creating a fake charity to sponsor bingo games. He made the games South Carolina's largest bingo network, within two years of debut.

Mathis argued that he did not involve himself in the operations of these businesses, but that he only provided legal advice to Allied Veterans. Mathis seemed confident that the sentence would be overturned on appeal, as his part was nothing more than that of a lawyer, and providing advice.

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