A Texas-sized sports betting bust featuring stacks of gold, million-dollar wagers and memorabilia signed by Tiger Woods, Tom Brady and others was revealed Thursday by federal authorities and the Plano police department.
Authorities claim the bookmaking operation handled approximately $5 billion in bets from 2007 to 2011 and raked in $200 million in profits during that span.
Initiated by an anonymous letter to police in 2001, the investigation lasted more than a decade and concluded with 18 defendants copping to gambling-related charges. Albert Sydney Reed, a 57-year-old Southlake man, was allegedly the leader of the organization, known as The Reed Group. Reed was the only defendant to receive jail time.
No bettors were charged.
While the sentences were light, the money was not. John Bales, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, told the media Thursday that bets of “six and seven figures” were placed online at sportsbooks based in the Caribbean.
Names of the sportsbooks used were not released.
The investigation appears to have wrapped up in 2011, so further ramifications seem unlikely.
Authorities seized approximately $10 million in property and cash, including gold pieces, sports memorabilia and luxury condominiums in Dallas and Las Vegas. One safe discovered contained $1 million in cash, authorities said.
Football helmets, jerseys and golf shirts signed by athletes including Woods, Brady, Earl Campbell and Dirk Nowitzki were among the memorabilia seized and on display at Thursday’s news conference announcing the bust, Dallasnews.com reported.
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