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Accused Oklahoma company owner made more than $500,000 in political donations in Florida, North Carolina

Chase Egan Burns, 37, of Fort Cobb, Oklahoma, is the owner of an Anadarko, Oklahoma, software company. Burns is accused of involvement in an illegal gambling operation. Burns made more than $500,000 in political donations in Florida and North Carolina, records show.
by Nolan Clay Published: March 18, 2013
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In North Carolina, he donated $55,000 to the Republican Party there, more than $110,000 to legislators and legislative candidates and $4,000 to Gov. Pat McCrory. Burns' wife also donated $4,000 to McCrory.

After learning of the Burns' donations to him, McCrory sent $8,000 from his campaign to a nonprofit homeless shelter in Durham, N.C.

“I wouldn't know him if I saw him,” said McCrory, a Republican.

“I think we got it through the mail. … If it's true what this guy did in the name of veterans, he ought to serve a lot of time in jail.”

Burns told The Oklahoman last week, “What we do is legal.”

Attorney hired

He has hired Oklahoma City attorney Drew Neville, who has won acquittals before in high-publicity criminal cases. Neville declined to comment Friday.

Burns and IIT received “approximately 22 percent of all the illegal proceeds generated weekly by the illegal gambling centers,” according to his arrest affidavit filed in Florida.

Investigators also determined IIT “provides services including computer software, computer equipment and technical assistance to businesses operating gambling centers in the states of Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Texas,” Seminole County, Fla., sheriff's Capt. James “Sammy” Gibson wrote.

Between January 2008 and March 2012, IIT received more than $68.6 million from the illegal Affiliated Veterans gambling operation, Gibson reported.

IIT received almost $100 million from Internet cafes in North Carolina, South Carolina and other states during that time, the sheriff's captain reported.

Extortion case

In October 2011, Burns and his son, then 2, were confronted outside his barn by Mindemann who wanted him to invest in a trash business.

In a report for a judge, Burns wrote Mindemann threatened to turn him in to the Internal Revenue Service for illegal gambling. He also wrote Mindemann threatened to kill him several times unless he invested $2.5 million.

“I told him I do nothing wrong and pay my taxes,” Burns wrote. “I told him I was only involved in legal markets.”

At one point, Burns wrote, Mindemann “pulled a gun out of the pickup and put a shell in it and said I was playing” Russian roulette.

“He spun the cylinder and cocked it and pointed it at my chest. He said I was going to invest and didn't have a choice,” Burns wrote. “He said I had 10 days or he would be back.”

Mindemann, 62, pleaded no contest last year to kidnapping for extortion and is serving a 10-year sentence.

In the report to the judge, Mindemann claimed Burns told him Burns' machines and an online poker business were making $1 million a month. He quoted Burns as saying, “That's not all profit. I have a lot of palms to grease.”

Contributing:

The Associated Press

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