The US Attorney’s Office of the District of South Carolina said in a press release that the illegal gambling organization uncovered by the joint investigation between Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) was sentenced in court.
Selling Unlicensed Gambling Machines
Bubba Technology Group, LLC, operating as an illegal gambling business from Piedmont, pleaded guilty and agreed to forfeit its illegal operation profit of approximately $367,000, while also losing dozens of unlicensed gambling machines and an additional $670,000 that were seized by authorities from gaming houses affiliated with the company.
“The Defendant took a chance that it could make money by breaking the law. It lost that bet,” said U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs.
“This business sold machines that allowed people to make wagers and win money – which makes the business illegal under federal law here in South Carolina,” Boroughs continued, expressing the Office’s determination to “aggressively pursue those who seek to get rich by breaking federal laws,” adamant that “wherever illegal money is made, crime festers.”
The court saw evidence that Bubba Technology Group was selling to small businesses in South Carolina machines known as Fish Machines which in their essence are unlicensed gambling machines as they allow players to cash out their play at the store or bar. Profits from the operation were equally split by Bubba and the business owner.
Determined to Uphold the Law
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson added that “no matter what your personal views may be, gambling is against the law in South Carolina.”
“The law is the law and it must be followed,” Wilson concluded.
The defendant agreed as part of the plea that keeping, operating, or distributing unlicensed gambling machines is illegal under South Carolina law and that gaming machines that allow players to receive cash as a result of their play are gambling machines.
Special Agent in Charge of HIS in North and South Carolina Ronnie Martinez and SLED Chief Mark Keel testified in court, reiterating the authorities’ stance that illegal gambling operations like this will be pursued, shut down and dismantled, as institutions work hand-in-hand to uphold the law.
The investigation led by HIS and SLED was assisted by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, Greenville County Drug Enforcement Unit, Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, and South Carolina Immigration Enforcement Unit.
For its transgressions, Bubba Technology Group was sentenced by US District Judge Donald C. Coggins, to one year of probation and forfeiture of estimated illegal profits.