Alabama Casino Operators, Senators Indicted

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Oct/04/2010
Alabama Casino Indictments

11 people have been indicted on federal charges of conspiracy, bribery and honest services fraud including the owners of two of Alabama's largest casinos, four state senators and lobbyists.  They are charged with trying to “buy and sell” votes on a bill to legalize electronic bingo.

Those indicted were the developer of the Country Crossing Casino in Dothan, Ronnie Gilley, and Miton McGregor, who is owner of the VictoryLand Casno in Shorter in addition to being a financial backer of Country Crossing.  The four Senators charged are Harri Anne Smith, Larry Means, Quinton Ross, Jr. and James Preuitt.

Senator Smith’s attorney said the indictments were "a nakedly political move, coordinated by prosecutors in cahoots with the governor's office" to influence November elections. Smith, Means and Ross Jr. are each seeking re-election.

Another individual and employee of one indicted lobbyist jared Massey confessed to conspiracy on September 28. Jennifer Pouncy claims to have offered Preuitt $2 million for his vote under a directive from Massey.

Senator Sanford (R) told WHNT News 19 that he's been in contact with the FBI over the last several months after Massey tried to buy his vote on the controversial bingo bill.

"Even before I was elected I was offered a quarter of a million dollars," Sanford told WHNT. "In May of 2009 I received a phone call from Massey. He said he had 2 clients that were interested in giving me $125,000 each, but they needed to know where I stood on the Sweet Home Alabama bill, which is the Bingo bill."

As a result of the ongoing probe, Victoryland has closed it's casino, restaurant and hotel operations since August 12.  Aaron Goldstein reporting for Gambling911.com.

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