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Prosecutors want assets of accused gamblers

Saturday, August 02, 2003

By Torsten Ove, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh have moved to seize gold coins, a silver block and more than $1.6 million in cash from three men accused of running an illegal offshore gambling business in Antigua, Belize and the United States.

According to forfeiture documents filed in U.S. District Court here yesterday, the Internal Revenue Service is investigating Carib Sportsbook & Casino, Carib International and other corporate entities controlled by Jon R. Rogers of Toronto, Ohio; John A. Thorne of Tampa, Fla.; and another man identified as Peter T. Mowad.

The men, along with others not named, are under investigation for alleged unlawful transmission of wagering information, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

Since at least 1993 until this year, court papers indicate, the three men and others operated an offshore gambling business known as Carib in Antigua, Belize and the United States.

From locations in the Caribbean, they or their employees accepted millions of dollars in wagers on sports events from bettors in the United States, either online or by phone, according to the forfeiture document.

The men are also accused of diverting millions of dollars of illegal income from Carib and a gambling supply company they established in Florida, Draycott, for their own benefit.

In early June, the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS executed a series of search warrants at Rogers' home and his warehouse in Ohio, Thorne's home in Tampa and several safe deposit boxes in Ohio and Pittsburgh.

In the Pittsburgh search on June 4, agents seized $700,000 from a safe deposit box controlled by Rogers at Citizens Bank on Steubenville Pike, in addition to 360 gold coins worth $122,400.

In Ohio, agents seized another $400,000 in cash from a safe deposit box controlled by Rogers at Sky Bank and another $400,000 from his box at National City bank.

The June 3 search of Rogers' warehouse turned up $45,000 in cash and a 100-ounce block of silver. Another $112,100 was taken from the Thorne home in Florida.


Torsten Ove can be reached at tove@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620.

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