SPRINGFIELD, MO—David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Joplin, Missouri man has pleaded guilty in federal court to operating an illegal gambling operation over the Internet.
William Lisle, 57, of Joplin, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr on Thursday, July 5, 2012, to the charges contained in a February 29, 2012 federal indictment. Co-defendant Kenneth B. Lovett, 72, of Joplin, pleaded guilty on May 18, 2012.
Lisle and Lovett admitted that they utilized the Internet to transmit wagering information, including placing bets on sporting events, as part of their gambling business from January 1, 2003, to February 8, 2011. Lovett, who was primarily engaged in wagering on National Football League events, took on Lisle as a partner in 2006. Lisle and Lovett shared income and expenses equally until 2010, when Lisle’s share of income and expenses increased to 60 percent.
Lisle and Lovett utilized two Internet Web sites, with servers located in Costa Rica, to administer the bookmaking operation. Their gambling operation flourished when they began using the offshore gambling websites in 2006. The number of their customers and the amounts they wagered increased. For example, according to the plea agreement, one gambler would wager as much as $35,000 a weekend during football season.
Lisle also pleaded guilty to money laundering. Lisle sent cashier’s checks, payable to a false name in an effort to conceal the transfer, to the Costa Rican company that operated the websites. Today’s plea agreement cites 15 instances in which Lisle sent cashier’s checks (totaling $72,000) to Costa Rica via Federal Express as part of his scheme to launder money obtained from the gambling enterprise.
By pleading guilty, Lisle must forfeit to the government $98,263 that was seized from his residence by law enforcement, which was the proceeds of gambling activity.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert. It was investigated by the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the Joplin, Missouri Police Department.