Florida's Lt. Governor, Jennifer Carroll resigned her office today in the wake of a sweeping multi-state investigation into internet gambling by Allied Veterans of the World. Carroll is not believed to be a subject of the investigation, but her company did public relations work for Allied Veterans a few years ago and had been interviewed by investigators on Tuesday.
Among those arrested is the Allied Vets President, Jerry Bass, Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police Union President Nelson Cuba, FOP Vice President Robbie Freitas, and Jacksonville attorney Kelly Mathis, who represents Allied Veterans.
The investigation stems from internet cafe's around the state, which authorities say generated $300-million in revenue over the past year years, but where only 2% was actually given to help veterans. In documents filed Monday with the US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma that we obtained, the investigation originated in Seminole County due to complaints from the public about gambling at the internet casinos.
On Jacksonville's Morning News Wednesday, State Senator John Thrasher said he will now push for a total ban on internet cafes and other sweepstakes locations in Florida. Thrasher said he is disappointed to learn of the Nelson Cuba's arrest, given the two have known each other for several years, and alluded to more revelations to come. A short time later Carroll's resignation was announced.
Hear the entire interview with Senator Thrasher here.
IRS agents were looking to seize everything from computer systems to email correspondence. They started their investigation in 2007 when the Allied Veterans "affiliates" started claiming to provide electronic sweepstakes in connection with companies that allegedly purchased Internet Casinos. They searched 51 of the Allied Veterans Affiliates around the state.
The documents say "Allied Veterans and others engaged in a conspiracy and scheme to defraud the public and governmental agencies into believing that the money spent, and lost, at the Internet Casinos that used the Allied Veterans name went to a charitable organization that was a member of the Veterans Administration."
In April 2012, documents we obtained show the Internet Casinos were "sold." However, the documents also say undercover agents went into these places and determined they were still operating with the same resources.
According to the documents, International Internet Technologies, LLC in Oklahoma was also searched. This is where the computer programs for Allied Veterans are held.
According to the documents, from 2007 to early 2012 investigators only found $6 million in donations in allied Veterans name. That represents 2% of their $290 million in proceeds during that time period.