Day At The Track

MONEY LAUNDERING SCANDAL IN NORTH DAKOTA

07:17 PM 07 Feb 2005 NZDT
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The founder of North Dakota's first off-track betting business was convicted on Friday (February 4) of running an illegal gambling parlour.

After approximately six hours, jurors in federal court found Susan Bala guilty on 12 felony counts, the American Press reports.

Bala and her company, Racing Services, were convicted of conducting an illegal gambling business, conspiracy to conduct an illegal gambling business, illegal wire transfer and nine counts of money laundering.

A hearing is scheduled for Monday (February 7) to determine whether Bala must forfeit property and money.

The government is asking for $99 million, the amount of money investigators said was bet at the illegal Fargo parlour from October 2002 to April 2003.

Each of the nine money laundering charges carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The other three counts have a combined maximum penalty of 12 years in prison.

Racing Services was the first company licensed to provide broadcast signals from out of state horse races to betting parlours in North Dakota, but it was not licensed to run their own betting parlour, authorities said.

Bala, 50, of Fargo, helped start the company in 1989 and later became sole owner. Her trial began January 18.

Courtesy Of Standardbred Canada

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