San Ramon Bookmaker Pleads Guilty To Running Illegal Gambling, Money Laundering, Tax Evasion

OAKLAND – LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – United States Attorney Scott N. Schools announced that David Lee Duckart, 63, of San Ramon, pleaded guilty yesterday to charges stemming from the operation of an illegal gambling business. Mr. Duckart pleaded guilty to two counts of conducting an illegal gambling business, two counts of money laundering, and three counts of tax evasion. This guilty plea is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigation.

According to the plea agreement, between January 1995 and June 1998, Mr. Duckart ran an illegal gambling business in which he was the bookmaker (“bookie”). He employed “agents” who collected the bets and wagers from the players and delivered them to the runners, who delivered the funds to Mr. Duckart. The bets were placed either directly with the defendant or through a “call center” operated by Mr. Duckart.

The defendant also admitted he filed false federal income tax returns (Forms 1040) for the tax years 1995, 1996, and 1997, wherein he understated the income from his illegal gambling business.

Mr. Duckart further admitted that between September 2002 and June 2006, while on pretrial release from the above mentioned offense, he again conducted an illegal gambling business in which bets and wagers were placed via http://www.bettheduck.com a 1-800 number to a call center in Costa Rica or through an Internet website called “Bettheduck”. In order to promote and carry on this illegal gambling business, Mr. Duckart wired money to Costa Rica to pay for salaries of employees who worked in the Costa Rica call center.

The sentencing of Mr. Duckart is scheduled for March 4, 2008, before United States District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong in Oakland.

The maximum statutory penalty for each count of conducting an illegal gambling business, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1955 is five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and three years supervised release. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of tax evasion, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201, is five years imprisonment, a $100,000 fine and three years supervised released.

The maximum statutory penalty for each count of money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956 (a)(2)(A,) is twenty years imprisonment, a $500,000 fine and three years supervised released.

However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

George Bevan, Jr. is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Legal Technician Kathleen Turner.

Further Information:

Case ## CR-98-40120-SBA; CR-06-472-SBA.

A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.

Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.

Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.

All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Joshua Eaton at (415) 436-6958 or by email at [email protected]

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