Four Indicted by Ohio Grand Jury for Illegal $34m+ Gambling Operations, Feds Reveal

  • Superseding indictment comes almost three years after a 2018 federal raid on the operation
  • Illegal gambling sites went by the names of Skilled Shamrock and Redemption Skill Games 777
  • Over five years, players at Skilled Shamrock allegedly wagered more than $34m
  • Charges also include conspiracy to defraud the IRS by submitting false tax returns
  • One of the suspects, certified public accountant Ronald DiPietro, has denied all charges
Stainless steel gavel sculpture in the courtyard of the Ohio Judicial Center
Four suspects arrested on Tuesday on an indictment by a grand jury in Cleveland, Ohio face federal charges linked to running illegal $34m+ gambling operations in Stark County. [Image:]

Arrested suspects face conspiracy charges

Four suspects recently indicted by a grand jury in Cleveland, Ohio are facing federal charges related to illegal gambling site operations in Ohio, where patrons allegedly wagered over $34m.

According to a news release by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), a federal grand jury “returned a superseding indictment on May 13”, which was unsealed on May 19.

The DOJ took to Twitter on Wednesday to share news of the four Ohioans charged with “conspiring to operate illegal gambling businesses and to defraud the IRS”:

According to The Repository, the superseding indictment originates from a 2018 federal raid on a series of Stark County “skill game businesses”. Two of the illegal businesses, Skilled Shamrock and Redemption Skill Games 777, operated in the city of Canton, which is the county seat of Stark County.

The DOJ reported arrests on Jason Kachner, his wife Rebecca Kachner, Ronald DiPietro, and Thomas Helmick happened Tuesday. The four then appeared before US Magistrate Judge Greenberg of the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

$34m-plus online operations

As the superseding indictment reports, “from 2012 through 2017, patrons at Skilled Shamrock allegedly wagered more than $34 million, producing more than $4 million in net income.” The indictment also includes an additional charge that the Kachners and Helmick conspired to run another illicit Canton wagering firm, Redemption, from 2013 to 2018.

more than $4 million in net income”

The Kachners and Helmick allegedly conspired to defraud the IRS via false tax returns that hid a sizeable chunk of Redemption’s gross receipts, while also concealing the true ownership of the business.

The suspects operated Skilled Shamrock out of 4225 Hills and Dales Road, and Redemption from 2824 Whipple Avenue. Both sites in Plain Township, Canton are now under lock and key.

According to the DOJ news release, if convicted, all four Ohioans face a maximum of five years behind bars for each conspiracy count, and five years in jail for each illegal gambling business count. The husband, wife, and Helmick also could get three years in prison for each count tied to their tax returns.

DiPietro, a certified public accountant, could join the suspects for the same prison term for aiding in the preparation of said tax returns.

Accountant denies all

The Repository reports that DiPietro denies all charges against him. His attorney, Robert Fedor, said: “We look forward to our day in court where his name, reputation and the charges against him will be certainly absolved.”

Investigating the case is the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission – Major Crimes Tax Force, the IRS Criminal Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Inspector General.

Earlier this month, just a few hundred miles east of Ohio, came reports of another gambling crime. Marylander Sophia Kim, a former employee and comptroller of an elite Washington, D.C. ballet school pleaded guilty to bank fraud involving over $1.5m. Kim used most of the embezzled money to gamble at MGM National Harbor Casino in Maryland.

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