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Bingo Scam Artist to Serve 8 Years, Pay $1 Million Back

2 August 2002

INDIANA – As reported by the Indianapolis Star: "One of the engineers of a money-skimming bingo scam signed an agreement that calls for him to serve up to eight years in prison and pay $1 million in restitution.

"Under terms filed in Marion Superior Court today, Michael Frechette will plead guilty to corrupt business influence; pay $900,000 to the charities that sponsored the bingo games and $100,000 to cover costs of the year-long covert investigation.

"…Prosecutors say he played a key role in siphoning more than $3.5 million from four charities that sponsored bingo games.

"…Suspended Indianapolis police officer Jonathan Wilson agreed to plead guilty to promoting professional gambling and filing a false tax return. If the judge accepts the agreement, Wilson must pay $4,260 and faces up to three years in prison.

"…Five others already have pleaded guilty in connection with the scam. Two other alleged ringleaders in the bingo probe -- Indiana State University Professor Fred Draper and retired Eli Lilly and Co. accountant Willie A. Ryan -- are awaiting trial."

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