DePere company pleads to money laundering, gambling activities in Ohio court

Feb 5 2015
DePere company pleads to money laundering, gambling activities in Ohio court


Cleveland – The owner of a Wisconsin company that supplied thousands of video slot machines to bars, restaurants and other businesses throughout Ohio has entered a plea of guilty to gambling charges that should make it clear these devices are illegal in this state.


Erin Nelson and 8 Line Supply, a firm based in the Green Bay suburb of De Pere, each pled guilty today to all charges in an eight-count information filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced.


Those charges included one count of Attempted Money Laundering, two counts of Possessing Criminal Tool and five misdemeanor counts of gambling.


The guilty pleas were taken by Common Pleas Court Judge John Sutula, who set March 12 at 9 a.m. for sentencing.


This conviction resulted from an on-going investigative effort by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, the Ohio Investigative Unit and the U.S. Secret Service. The team received valuable assistance and support on this case from the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation.


8 Line Supply sold intact devices as well as the components used to produce illegal video gambling devices in Ohio and other states. Today, 8 Line Supply pleaded guilty to criminal offenses for distributing the following illegal gambling devices into Ohio:


  •  Astro Corp. games, including but not limited to Black Beard, Pizzeria, Penguin Party, Vegas Nights, Crazy Circus, Carnival, and Dorothy’s Fantasy;
  •  Borden Technologies games, including but not limited to Beanstalk and Huga;
  •  IGS games, including but not limited to Captain Jack, Cheers, Crazy Bugs, Game Show, and Magic Show;
  •  Amcoe games, including but not limited to Fruit Bonus 1996;
  •  8 Line Supply games, including but not limited to WOZ and Ghouls Night Out.


“What’s crucial about this conviction is that establishes a precedent and proof that all of these games are per se slot machines and can’t be disguised as skill games or any other device legal to operate anywhere in Ohio,” said Ohio Investigative Unit Agent-in-Charge Greg Croft. “With this ruling we now can, and will, pursue other out of state companies that attempt to sell illegal devices into Ohio and will absolutely pursue anyone in Ohio that chooses to distribute or operate them.”


“Just like our successful battle against Internet casinos, this case demonstrates the determination of law enforcement to take a firm stand against illegal gambling -- in whatever form it takes next,” said Prosecutor McGinty. “It also demonstrates the impact that’s possible when local, state and federal agencies work together. These defendants have admitted they are in the gambling business. Any absurd claims that these are games of skill have been destroyed by their guilty plea.”


Records obtained during the investigation showed that 8 Line Supply had sold nearly 23,000 gambling devices or parts and components used to assemble gambling devices to customers in Ohio since 2008. Total cost: $2.7 million. Its customers included convicted gamblers Martin Sarcyk and Kurt Immler.


During the execution of a search warrant at 8 Line Supply’s Wisconsin offices, an examination of the company’s computers produced a list of its Ohio customers.


After a series of raids and investigations during this continuing crackdown on video slot machines, bar owners in eight cities also have entered guilty pleas to Gambling charges. The establishments in Cuyahoga County include:


  •  B&G Old World Tavern, Euclid;
  •  Blue Parrot, Euclid;
  •  Browns Tavern, Newburgh Heights;
  •  Flyers Bar and Grill, Parma Heights;
  •  Highlander Tavern, Cleveland;
  •  Pearl Road Tavern, Cleveland;
  •  2nd Chance Lounge, Cleveland;
  •  Uncle Joe’s Bar and Grill, Parma Heights


Additional guilty pleas came from Adult Day Care, Hinckley; Beverage Depot, Geneva; Fun and Skill Games, Wooster; Fun with Skill Games, Dalton; and Puzzle Bug, Wooster.


OIU agents are warning tavern and carryout owners that no matter what they want to believe or are being told by the individuals who want to put these machines at their businesses, they should not do so. “Regardless of the prizes - cash, gas cards or anything else of value - these devices are slot machines and are illegal to operate,” Agent-in-Charge Croft said.


Greg Croft, Ohio Investigative Unit, Agent-in-Charge. Phone: 216-898-1870

Joseph Frolik, Director of Communications and Public Policy. Phone: (216) 443-7488; or Cell: 216-640-6186.