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Undercover FBI employees bet, lost federal cash on OU games

Undercover FBI employees won and lost thousands of dollars during a gambling investigation of gambling operation, records show. The inquiry resulted in an indictment last month.
by Nolan Clay Published: May 6, 2013

Undercover FBI employees won and lost thousands of dollars in federal funds betting on University of Oklahoma football games and other sporting events, records show.

The FBI used undercover employees to identify suspected bookies in Oklahoma and to gather evidence about a gambling website during a lengthy investigation.

The inquiry was known at one point as “Operation Bad Luck.”

Undercover employees would meet with bookie suspects at Oklahoma bingo halls, a doughnut shop, parking lots and restaurants to pay up or get paid, the records show.

Last month, 34 people were accused in an indictment in Oklahoma City federal court of operating an illegal sports bookmaking business known as Legendz Sports. Eight of the defendants are from Oklahoma.

“Legendz Sports solicited millions of illegal bets totaling over … one billion dollars on sports and sporting events from gamblers in the United States, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” grand jurors alleged in the indictment.

Legendz Sports had a call center in Panama, records show.

Betting on Sooner games was an FBI undercover employee who identified himself as “Matt” in recorded conversations with a suspect.

He reported winning $952 when he bet in October 2008 that OU would not beat Kansas by three touchdowns or more. OU won by only two touchdowns — 45-31. He lost $1,000, though, betting on the Texas-Missouri football game the same day.

The next week, he reported losing $735 betting against OU in the OU-Kansas State game. He reported losing another $1,050 on the Penn State-Ohio State game.

He reported losing $4,300 on bets on four football games in September 2008.

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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