Valdosta Daily Times

Breaking News:

Top News

March 20, 2013

Ala., Ga. residents indicted in Fla. gambling case

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An Alabama man is in jail and his Georgia business partners are being sought on charges accusing them of operating illegal gambling establishments in Florida under the guise of helping veterans.

For years, Samuel Keeble was known in central Alabama for operating a small convenience store in Camp Hill, not far from his home in Dadeville.  

Keeble is now under indictment for racketeering and multiple other felonies along with his business partners, Diane and Gary Davis of Hogansville, Ga. They are accused of running three illegal gambling businesses in northeast Florida — one in Jacksonville and two in Yulee, north of Jacksonville.

Keeble and the Davises operated “Internet cafes” that purported to give money to aid needy veterans when patrons bought time on video-style slot machines. Upon entering, patrons signed a registration form that claimed they were “not gambling,” investigators said. The indictments were revealed in the joint Florida state and federal bust of Allied Veterans of the World, an operation that portrayed itself as a charity helping veterans.

So far, 57 people have been charged in what officials called a “sophisticated racketeering and money laundering scheme.” About 60 locations were closed across Florida that officials said were affiliated with Allied Veterans and supplied it with proceeds.

Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigned last week in the wake of an investigation. Carroll had provided public-relations representation to the operation before her election, but she has not been charged.  

Investigators tracked money transfers across several states. Authorities said they showed $194 million, which was hidden through operators such as Keeble and the Davises. From 2008 through last year, the investigation revealed that less than 2 percent of the $300 million in gambling center proceeds was given to charity, while much went into the owners’ pockets.

Court records list the Davises and Keeble as owners of MSG Business Center, which sent direct deposits on a weekly basis to the Allied Veterans of the World’s bank accounts. A contracted payroll company issued checks back to affiliates.

Dadeville police Sgt. Jonathan Floyd, accompanied by U.S. Secret Service agents, arrested Keeble, 58, at his home on March 12.  Floyd said that Keeble denied wrongdoing and said his business was legal.

“He seemed surprised. He said he thought we had the wrong person. It was a case of mistaken identity. But it wasn’t,” Floyd said.

Keeble is being held without bail as he awaits an extradition hearing. If he is extradited, he will be moved to the Seminole County, Fla., jail to await trial on federal and state charges.

Those charges include racketeering; conspiracy; manufacture, sale, possession of slot machines; keeping gambling houses; and money laundering. Officials said the three operations owned by Keeble and the Davises were closed, and the equipment was confiscated. Records showed they had been in operation since June 2007.

A woman who answered the phone at Keeble’s residence Tuesday and identified herself as Mrs. Keeble declined comment. Jail officials did not know if Keeble had hired an attorney. Keeble has no criminal history.

Diane and Gary Davis have not yet been arrested. Davis identifies himself as a musician and songwriter on his personal website. Court records list the couple as owners of a second location in Jacksonville that was not part of their operations with Keeble.

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office reported that the items seized in the investigation include more than 400 computers and servers, 1,169 boxes of paper records, and 59 vehicles and vessels. Digital forensic specialists are also reviewing 470 computer hard drives.

 

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Valdosta Daily Times e-Edition, or our print edition

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Heat advisory in effect until 6 p.m.

    A heat advisory is in effect for much of south Georgia until 6 p.m.

    July 28, 2014

  • Free Health Fair slated for August 9th

    A free health fair hosted by the 100 Black Men of Brooks-Grady-and-Thomas Counties, Inc. and sponsored by Archbold Hospital will take place on August 9th  from 8:00am until 12 noon.

    July 28, 2014

  • BtpsXVpIgAEXKB-.jpg Manhunt underway for drivers of stolen dump truck

    This morning, around 8:00 deputies from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office attempted to stop a dump truck traveling south on I-75.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingston’s loss means less clout for Ga.

    For two decades, Rep. Jack Kingston was a congressman who routinely crushed his opponents on election night — winning a new term every other year with vote totals between 63 and 77 percent.

    July 28, 2014

  • IMG_3745.jpeg Gas leak on West Adair

    A gas leak has occured on West Adair Street, between Tombs and Oak Street. The leak began just after 11 a.m.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • salmonella 2 copy.jpg Trial nears for suspects in salmonella case

    Three people accused of scheming to manufacture and ship salmonella-tainted peanuts that killed nine people, sickened more than 700 and prompted one of the largest food recalls in history are set to go to trial this week in south Georgia.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP4507280123 copy.jpg Today in History for Monday, July 28, 2014
    Today is Monday, July 28, the 209th day of 2014. There are 156 days left in the year. 
     

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commercial driver training program expanding

    Department of Driver Services (DDS) Commissioner Rob Mikell announced recently an expansion of the commercial driver training program administered by the Agency’s Regulatory Compliance Division. DDS will now offer a Commercial Driver License (CDL) Instructor Training Class for customers who have applied to be CDL instructors. The session will provide additional guidance as the applicants prepare for the final exam.

    July 28, 2014

  • Tentative deal reached on VA reform

    The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to fix a veterans’ health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.

    July 27, 2014

  • Heat advisory for much of South Georgia

    A heat advisory is in place for much of South Georgia until 7 p.m.

    July 27, 2014

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results