Indictment returned in Oklahoma City in $1 billion online sports betting business

Eight Oklahomans are among 57 individuals and entities accused in an Oklahoma City federal indictment of using the Internet to operate an international illegal sports bookmaking business that solicited more than $1 billion in bets.
by Randy Ellis Modified: April 10, 2013 at 10:08 pm •  Published: April 10, 2013

Serena King, wife of Legendz Sports founder Bartice King, identified herself as vice president of DSS on a 2009 application to purchase a Maserati Quattroporte Italian luxury car and 2010 application to lease a 2010 Cadillac Escalade. In both cases she listed her salary as $975,000. Serena King and DSS were among those indicted.

The indictment named 34 individuals and 23 business entities.

“Individuals cannot skirt the laws of the United States by setting up illegal Internet gambling operations in a foreign country, while living in the United States and enjoying all the benefits of U.S. citizens,” said Jim Finch, special agent in charge of the FBI's Oklahoma City field office.

Internal Revenue Service agents also played roles in the investigation.

“Today's charges demonstrate that we are as determined as ever to hold accountable those involved in facilitating illegal online gambling by U.S. citizens, regardless of where the business operates or where the defendants reside,” added Mythili Raman, acting assistant attorney general.

Prosecutors identified the eight indicted Oklahomans as James Franklin Acker III, also known as “Frank” or “Frank The Bank,” 54, of Moore; Bruce Landen Middlebrook, also known as “Jose” or “Jose C,” 44, of Edmond; Robert C. Vanetten Jr., also known as “Bob,” “Fbobv” or “Bingo Bob,” 51, of Moore; David Lynn Ross, also known as “OB” or “Obie,” 51, of Choctaw; James Lester Acker, also known as “Les,” 30, of Moore; Kelly James Dorn, 51, of Oklahoma City; Todd William Hoss, 47, of Norman; and Robert Anthony Lay, also known as “Tony,” 48, of Moore.

If convicted, the indicted individuals face up to 20 years in prison for racketeering, up to 20 years in prison for conspiring to commit money laundering, up to 10 years in prison for money laundering and up to five years in prison for operating an illegal gambling business, officials said.

Prosecutors said they are also seeking forfeiture of at least $1 billion in real estate, bank accounts, brokerage and investment accounts, certificates of deposit, a Sabreliner aircraft, a gas lease, an individual retirement account, domain names and vehicles.

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by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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