Ex-IU Athlete Acted as Agent for Sports Gambling Operation

  • Business partner of illegal sports betting operation mastermind revealed
  • Joe Hillman allegedly acted as an agent, giving investigators info on the illegal business
  • Agents reportedly earn 20% from the proceeds of their work
Former Indiana University basketball player Joe Hillman has been named as an agent for an illegal sports gambling operation. [Image: Shutterstock]

Illegal sports gambling operation

Ex-IU basketball player Joe Hillman has been accused of assisting in an illegal sports gambling operation that generated over $17m in sports bets.

Hillman was a member of the 1987 Indiana University national champion men’s basketball team.

enterprise was so developed that he required agents to help collect debts

He reportedly has connections to Bret Wells, a New Palestine businessman who allegedly ran an illegal gambling scheme.

Wells’ enterprise was so developed that he required agents to help collect debts and provide payouts. According to an affidavit filed involving charges against Wells, the ex-basketball star was a major player in the operation.

Former business partner

The affidavit named Hillman as the former business partner of Wells. According to VSO News, a former business partner was revealed to have assisted in the investigation against Wells. However, at that time, the name of this business partner was unknown.

The illegal operation had processed more than 176,000 betting transactions since January 2016. The scheme involved seven agents working for Wells in eight counties of the state.

Hillman spoke with Indiana Gaming Commission investigators, providing information regarding the agents working for the operation. Investigators then tailed Wells. They watched him meet Hillman on four separate occasions. The first meeting they watched took place in November 2018.

As a matter of fact, each meeting occurred on a Tuesday. On this specific day of the week, the agents ‘settled up’. During a May meeting, an investigator was able to stand close to Hillman during an exchange. He saw a large amount of cash in Hillman’s hand as Wells came forward for an exchange.

Investigation continues

The Daily Reporter approached Hillman by phone. He refused to comment and denied knowing anything about the operation involving Wells.

Jenny Reske, deputy director of the Indiana Gaming Commission, says the investigation is ongoing. She described the case as “the largest bookmaking bust the gaming commission has conducted on its own.”