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FAYETTEVILLE -- A Rogers man pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges related to a gambling business he operated out of his home for several years.

Robert Enos Rogers, 73, pleaded guilty to one count of operating an illegal gambling business. A count of money laundering is expected to be dropped at sentencing as part of the plea agreement.

Forfeiture

Occurs when a person gives up money, property, or privileges to compensate for losses resulting from a breach of a legal obligation. In criminal law, it may also refer to the government seizure of property connected to illegal activity.

Source: uslegal.com

Rogers operated a sports betting business at his house at 2711 W. Garrett Road in Rogers since at least Jan. 1, 2007, according to federal prosecutors. The business had at least five people involved to run it and grossed as much as $2,000 a day.

Police seized $7,438 cash from Rogers' car, $11,257 from his home, $60,000 from a rented safety deposit box, $35,000 from another box and $61,700 from a third, according to his indictment.

Rogers agreed to forfeit cash, a car, a boat, stocks and jewelry, but no real property. He owns a lake house in Oklahoma.

Rogers is being allowed to remain free on a $10,000 bond with travel restrictions while awaiting sentencing. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on the gambling charge, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.

Sentencing will come in about four months when a presentencing report is complete. Rogers has a number of health problems, according to U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks.

A search warrant issued Feb. 3, 2016, and related court documents show Rogers and four others, who weren't named, were targets of a 10-month investigation. A search warrant allowed the search and seizure of evidence and property at Rogers' home, three bank safety deposit boxes and his vehicle.

The gambling operation came to light after the U.S. Justice Department's Financial Crimes Task Force received information about a financial adviser who was structuring withdrawals from his personal accounts at two local banks, court documents say. Structuring is the purposeful evasion of currency reporting laws and includes the breaking down of a single sum of currency exceeding $10,000 into smaller amounts, the warrant affidavit says. Transactions of more than $10,000 must be reported by banks to federal regulators.

"The total in structured funds, since 2012, exceeds $560,000," the affidavit says. Court documents identify the financial adviser as a bettor of Rogers' establishment, not a participant in the enterprise.

Bank records show at least two wire transfers, each at least $20,000, one in 2015 and one in 2016, from the adviser's account to an account of Rogers', according to the affidavit.

Investigators found items in the trash that showed a gambling operation was being conducted from the residence, the affidavit said. Printed and hand-written documents detailing sports betting were found as were "numerous hand-written notes detailing names, phone numbers, dollar amounts and sport teams."

Rogers listed his house for sale, and investigators found photographs of a metal building on Rogers' property with what appeared to be seven cherry master style slot machines, the affidavit says. The photographs also showed "10 leather chairs, a poker table with several ornate wood boxes lying on top of it, which would appear to contain chips."

Posing as an interested buyer, an FBI investigator toured the house Nov. 14, 2016. The investigator saw slot machines in the metal building along with two safes about 5 feet tall each, according to the affidavit. Another safe about 3 feet tall with poker chips next to it was found in a bedroom closet.

Seizures of trash on Dec. 8 and 15, 2016, found more notes describing gambling transactions. Betting averaged about $1 million a year from 2012 through 2015, the civil forfeiture cases claim.

NW News on 01/09/2018

Print Headline: Rogers pleads guilty to running gambling operation

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