57 Indicted In Florida Gambling Scandal

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TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Department Of Law Enforcement has charged 57 people for a $300 million conspiracy that involved racketeering and money laundering.  A release from law enforcement alleges that “Allied Veterans of the World” ran a scheme to run 49 illegal gambling centers operating under the guise of “internet cafes.”  Florida law enforcement officials began executing 54 search warrants and 57 arrest warrants in 23 Florida counties and five additional states on Tuesday.

Allied Veterans of the World claimed to be a charity for veterans. Instead they deceived the public and government while lining the pockets of its operators.  Investigators found that during the period January 2008 to January 2012, less than 2 percent of the $300 million in gambling center revenues was given to charity.

Slot machines, vehicles, 170 properties, and bank accounts worth tens of millions of dollars have been seized.   Detectives say that co-conspirators received a combined more than $90 million from the scheme.

CNN Reports that Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll has resigned as questions arose over a company for which she previously consulted.

In a two-sentence resignation letter delivered to Gov. Rick Scott Tuesday, Carroll said it was an “honor to have served.”

The resignation came the same day that some people were arrested “for racketeering and money laundering charges in connection with Allied Veterans of the World’s illegal gambling companies,” Scott’s chief of staff Adam Hollingsworth said Wednesday. Carroll consulted for Allied Veterans while serving in the state House of Representatives in 2009 and 2010.

“She was interviewed by Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers Tuesday regarding her work with the company. Lt. Gov. Carroll resigned in an effort to keep her former affiliation with the company from distracting from the administration’s important work on behalf of Florida families,” Hollingsworth said. “She made the right decision for the state and her family.”

Carroll, a Republican, assumed office in January 2011, having been elected with Scott in 2010. She was the first African American elected to Florida statewide office, according to her official biography.

CNN’s Elwyn Lopez contributed to this report.

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