DENVER – Attorney General John Suthers announced today the indictments of ten defendants in a long-standing and prolific bingo scheme designed to defraud non-profits out of millions in bingo and pull-tab proceeds. The Statewide Grand Jury issued their indictment on June 2, 2006. Warrants for the ten defendants were issued yesterday.
“Millions in bingo proceeds went into the pockets of these defendants when they should have gone to legitimate non-profits,” said Suthers. “After nearly a decade of violations, these defendants will be held accountable for their lengthy history of illegal activity.”
The defendants allegedly operated bingo games through a bingo hall in Aurora, Colorado called “Winners Bingo.” In violation of Colorado’s bingo laws, the defendants would recruit, infiltrate or form a non-profit to run bingo games at the Winners Bingo location. The profits from these games were then illegally distributed to the defendants for personal use rather than to non-profits as required by Colorado law.
The indictment also alleges that the defendants further broke the law by forging and altering forms filed with the Colorado Secretary of State to legitimize their fraudulent operation. It is believed that the defendants’ operation spanned the administrations of three secretaries of state.
Secretary of State Gigi Dennis said the investigation was initiated by her predecessor, Donetta Davidson. “During routine examinations of financial reports filed by licensees, investigators from the Secretary of State’s office uncovered information that caused them to believe that proceeds from charitable gaming were not being properly applied and the information was brought to the Attorney General who initiated the Statewide Grand Jury,” Secretary of State Gigi Dennis said.
The Secretary of State's staff will continue to examine the financial reports of licensees and may examine other books and records when their investigations indicate the improper use of gaming proceeds. Where appropriate, the Secretary of State will either initiate administrative action to revoke or suspend the licensee, or refer the information to the Attorney General or District Attorney where more serious action is warranted.
Those indicted include:
Max Brooks (DOB 1/5/37)
Mary Ann Brooks (DOB 3/20/40)
Angie Wood (DOB 12/24/59)
Maria Lloyd (DOB 5/19/54)
Curtis Liggett (DOB 6/18/60)
Homer Page (DOB 10/12/41)
Chris Rink (DOB 9/27/69)
James Ryan (DOB 11/22/30)
Sean McGrath (DOB 12/8/70)
Andrea McGrath (DOB 4/24/74)
The defendants have been charged with thirty counts of felonies, including violations of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, a class 2 felony, which carries a sentence of 8-24 years in the Department of Corrections and potential fines of $5,000 to $1,000,000. Other counts charged were forgery, theft, and attempting to influence a public official.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Aurora Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office for the 18th Judicial District.
District Attorney Carol Chambers said, “Our office and the Aurora Police Department have put in over two thousand hours over a two year period to see that this case be brought to justice.”
Upon the request of the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the Attorney General presented the case to the Statewide Grand Jury. The indictment was filed in Denver County District Court, but has since been transferred it to the 18th Judicial District for prosecution.
As with all persons charged with a criminal offense, the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.