According to an FBI press release dated April 22, 2011, one Ronald E. Gilley, 46, of Enterprise, Alabama pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Wallace Capel Jr., to his role in conspiring to bribe state legislators for their favorable votes on pro-gambling legislation. The charges to which he pled guilty were one count of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery, six counts of federal program bribery and four counts of money laundering.
Gilley and 10 co-defendants were charged in a 39-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Oct. 1, 2010, with a variety of criminal offenses for their alleged roles in the bribery scheme. Jarrod Massey, 39, of Montgomery, Ala., a lobbyist for Gilley, pleaded guilty on Dec. 20, 2010, for his role in the conspiracy. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 15, 2011. The remaining nine defendants include two current Alabama state legislators, two former Alabama state legislators, two lobbyists, one business owner, an employee of Gilley and an employee of the Alabama legislature. (FBI press release April 22, 2011)
According to information contained in court documents and presented during the plea hearing, Gilley owned a controlling interest in Country Crossing, an entertainment and gambling development in Houston County, Alabama, which also sought to offer electronic bingo gambling machines to the public. Milton E. McGregor owned a controlling interest in Macon County Greyhound Park Inc., also known as Victoryland, in Macon County, Alabama, and Jefferson County Racing Association in Jefferson County, Alabama. He also had an ownership interest in other entertainment and gambling facilities in Alabama, including Country Crossing, which offered or sought to offer electronic bingo gambling machines to the public.
Gilley admitted, among other things, his involvement in offering things of value worth millions of dollars to members of the Alabama legislature, in exchange for legislators’ votes. Gilley also admitted directing lobbyists who worked for him, including Massey and Jennifer D. Pouncy, to offer legislators bribes for their votes. Pouncy, 34, of Montgomery, Ala., pleaded guilty on Sept. 28, 2010, for her role in the bribery conspiracy, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 11, 2011.
Gilley faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charge. Each count of federal program bribery carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each count of money laundering carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. In connection with the money laundering charges, Gilley agreed to forfeit $200,000. A sentencing date has not been set. (Ibid)
The other 9 defendants trials are scheduled to begin on June 6, 2011 with U.S. District Judge Myron H. Thompson hearing the cases.
The FBI reminds all that those who have not entered pleas or have not been tried, are considered innocent unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law.
For a detailed report on the investigation, arrest and indictments of these defendants, Click Here.