The youngest son of admitted gambler Teddy Mitchell pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor tax offense.
Billy Nick Mitchell was one of the card dealers at illegal poker games hosted by his father in Oklahoma City, prosecutors allege. At the high-stakes tables, pots would grow as high as $25,000 per hand, the FBI reported.
Nick Mitchell, 23, admitted Tuesday to an Oklahoma City federal judge that he filed a false 2010 income tax return.
He was accused in the misdemeanor charge of failing to report $3,500 in tips he earned from dealing cards at the poker games.
When he signed his plea paperwork in May, he was working at an Oklahoma City restaurant. He wrote he wanted to “accept the consequences of my conduct and move on with my life as a law-abiding citizen.”
U.S. District Judge David Russell will decide his punishment later. He faces up to a year in federal prison. He has agreed to pay $820 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service and to pay a $1,000 fine.
Two other men who were card dealers at Teddy Mitchell's poker games also pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor tax offenses. A longtime friend pleaded guilty to two felony gambling offenses.
A federal grand jury last year indicted Teddy Mitchell, two of his sons, longtime friend David Bruce Loveland and five other men.
The indictment was the result of an investigation into Teddy Mitchell's poker games and into his involvement with a Costa Rican Internet sports betting site. Teddy Mitchell has said he didn't know at the time that what he was doing was illegal.
Prosecutors agreed to drop all felony counts in the indictment against Nick Mitchell and the two other card dealers, Michael Lee McCullah, 35, and Justin Edward Musgrove, 39, in exchange for their pleas to the new misdemeanor tax charges.
McCullah admitted he filed a false 2007 income tax return, not reporting $7,000 in tips he made dealing at Teddy Mitchell's poker games. He agreed to pay $884 in restitution to the IRS and a $1,000 fine.
Musgrove admitted he failed to file a 2007 federal income tax return, even though he had income from dealing at Teddy Mitchell's poker games. He agreed to pay a $1,000 fine. Musgrove said last year that he dealt three times in 2007 and “did it to get money for drugs,” according to court records.
At sentencing, each could be ordered to spend up to a year in federal prison.
Loveland, 65, admitted Tuesday to two felony counts connected to his involvement in the illegal Internet sports betting business. Prosecutors agreed to drop two other counts against him. He faces up to seven years in prison.
Loveland told the judge he put 16 friends on the Internet betting site in 2010 for them to gamble. He said six to eight friends would bet every week.
“If they won, I went and paid them. If they lost, I went and collected,” he said.
Loveland said he also helped Teddy Mitchell collect lost bets.
Last week, Teddy Mitchell, 58, pleaded guilty to involvement in the illegal Internet site and to a money-laundering conspiracy. His oldest son, Dryden R. Mitchell, 32, also pleaded guilty to involvement in the illegal Internet site and to money laundering. They will be sentenced in about three months.
An admitted bookie from California and an admitted bookie from Nevada pleaded guilty earlier this year and are awaiting sentencing. The final defendant, an Oklahoma City man, is expected to plead guilty later this month.
The gambling case has attracted widespread public attention because Mitchell's wife, Julie, 34, was brutally beaten to death in their home in November 2010. Teddy Mitchell was traveling out of the state at the time.
The homicide remains unsolved.
The FBI reported in court papers that Julie Mitchell acted as a card dealer in the poker games.
One witness told the FBI that Teddy Mitchell's driveway and yard were full of vehicles used by gamblers involved in the poker games on Tuesday and Thursday nights. The witness also reported the gamblers played on professional poker tables and catered food usually was provided.