More Than $8.1 Million in Gambling Proceeds Laundered by Defendants in Oklahoma, California, Nevada, and Costa Rica
OKLAHOMA CITY—Today, an 81-count federal indictment was unsealed charging 10 defendants with crimes involving an illegal gambling operation and the money laundering of proceeds derived from that operation, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma; Jim Finch, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Andrea D. Whelan, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation.
The defendants charged in this indictment are:
■TEDDY DRYDEN MITCHELL, 57, of Oklahoma City
■DRYDEN RYLEY MITCHELL, 32, of Oklahoma City
■BILLY NICK MITCHELL, 22, of Oklahoma City
■DAVID BRUCE LOVELAND, 64, of Oklahoma City
■JERRY WAYNE GILCHRIST (aka “Best Buy Jerry”), 34, of Oklahoma City
■MICHAEL LEE McCULLAH, 35, of Ardmore, Oklahoma
■JUSTIN EDWARD MUSGROVE, 39, of Midwest City, Oklahoma
■RICHARD ALLEN HANCOCK, 67, of Yorba Linda, California
■GARY JOHN GIBB, 68, of Reno, Nevada
■GORTATION MANAGEMENT, S.A., a Costa Rican corporation
According to the indictment, the defendants were members of an illegal gambling business that (1) operated “high stakes” poker games from a residence located at 640 N.W. 150th, in Oklahoma City; (2) took bets and wagers on sporting events on behalf of betting clients; (3) used an illegal Internet gambling website in interstate and foreign commerce for the benefit of betting clients; (4) laundered the proceeds of illegal gambling activities; and (5) committed various crimes related to the operation of an illegal gambling business, including but not limited to, interstate travel in aid of racketeering and use of a wire communication facility to transmit betting information.
The indictment specifically alleges that Teddy Mitchell organized poker games at the residence listed above where professionals from local casinos, associates, and family members (including Dryden Mitchell, Billy Mitchell, Musgrove, Loveland, McCullah, and Gilchrist) acted in various roles such as dealers, bankers or greeters, operating both a “low stakes” and “high stakes” poker tables. It is alleged that in order to generate income from at least 400 hands of poker played each week, Mitchell and co-conspirators took a “rake” (i.e., a percentage commission from the amount of money bet for each hand of poker dealt).
It is alleged that Teddy Mitchell also operated as a traditional bookmaker by taking sports bets for clients both in person and over the phone. Later, it is alleged, Teddy and Dryden Mitchell provided their betting clients a password to access a Costa Rican sports betting Internet website owned by Gortation Management. Gortation Management operates as a clearing house for bookies throughout the United States. Teddy and Dryden Mitchell are alleged to have recruited, enlisted, and managed sports betting clients on behalf of Gortation Management and provided a percentage of the money collected from their Internet sports betting clients to Gortation Management.
It is alleged that to further their gambling operation, defendants Teddy Mitchell, Dryden Mitchell, Loveland, Hancock, Gibb, and Gortation Management conspired to launder over $8.1 million in money derived from the gambling operation.
Hancock is alleged to have received numerous checks payable to Gortation Management from American clients who lost bets, including Teddy Mitchell’s clients, and used California check-cashing facilities to cash these checks.
Gibb is alleged to have acted as a bookie with signature authority on domestic financial accounts relating to Gortation Management. It is further alleged that Gibb received numerous checks for gambling losses of betting clients which were payable to Gortation Management and deposited into his accounts.
In addition, Teddy Mitchell owned and operated various companies, whose bank accounts were used to launder money generated from illegal gambling activities. Deposits in those business accounts were listed under the headings of “Gambling Income,” “Vending Games,” and “Poker” and were used to purchase vehicles and residential properties.
The indictment seeks a forfeiture money judgment of over $8.1 million and the forfeiture of 24 tracts of real property, multiple vehicles, and cash held in various accounts.
If convicted, defendants Teddy Mitchell, Dryden Mitchell, David Loveland, Richard Hancock, and Gary Gibb each face up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Defendants Billy Mitchell, Jerry Gilchrist, Michael McCullah, and Justin Musgrove each face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
This case is the result of a joint investigation including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS-Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ashley L. Altshuler and Edward J. Kumiega.
The public is reminded that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial, at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Reference is made to the indictment for further information.