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Kevin Smith

IRS Investigates Carib

15 August 2003

Officials with the Internal Revenue Service confirmed to IGN Thursday that top-level executives with the Carib Sportsbook & Casino are under investigation and could face possible criminal charges.

A representative for the IRS's criminal investigation division acknowledged that a multi-jurisdictional investigation is underway, but the IRS cannot disclose details of the investigation until it decides whether it will press charges.

Three raids were conducted in June in a home, office and warehouse owned by Jon R. Rogers of Toronto, Ohio, John A. Thorne of Tampa, Fla. and another man identified as Peter T. Mowad. All three were alleged to be controlling partners in the offshore sports book and casino operation based in Antigua and Belize.

The raids netted law enforcement officials from the IRS gold coins, a silver block and more than $1.6 million in cash. The IRS spokesman said federal prosecutors are trying to seize the items, a standard procedure in such a case.

The forfeiture papers confirm that the IRS is conducting its investigation into the operation. A published media report in Pittsburgh indicated that some of the money generated from operating Carib made its way to the United States.

In addition to the illegal bookmaking charges, Carib officials could face charges on mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

The site was launched in 1993 and has accepted millions of dollars in wagers on sports events from bettors in the United States. The company operated a telephone betting service as well.

The raids were conducted over the course of two days and were executed at Rogers' home and his warehouse in Ohio, Thorne's home in Tampa and several safe deposit boxes in Ohio and Pittsburgh.

Officials in the IRS's Pittsburgh field office confirmed seizure of $700,000 from a safe deposit box controlled by Rogers in addition to 360 gold coins worth $122,400.

In Ohio, agents seized another $400,000 in cash from a safe deposit box controlled by Rogers at Sky Bank and another $400,000 from his box at National City bank.

The search of Rogers' warehouse, conducted on June 3, turned up $45,000 in cash and a 100-ounce block of silver. Another $112,100 was taken from the Thorne home in Florida.

Officials with the federal prosecutors office in Pittsburgh declined comment on the investigation. The IRS spokesperson said there was no time table on when the agency would make a decision on whether it will press charges.

IRS Investigates Carib is republished from
Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith