Chapmanville restaurateur admits to laundering money - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Chapmanville restaurateur admits to laundering money from illegal gambling operation

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A West Logan restaurant owner has admitted to laundering cash from an illegal gambling operation, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin reports.

Gregory A. Dotson, 51, of Chapmanville, proprietor of Giovanni's of Logan, told the court he'd operated an illegal gambling parlor in the back of a tobacco store in South Williamson, KY, since May 2008. Payouts from so-called "gray machines" are illegal under Kentucky law, but Dotson routinely paid out gambling winning to patrons. He said he retrieved proceeds from the illegal machines weekly, bringing the cash across state lines to his office at Giovanni's where the illegal gambling proceeds were commingled with the cash generated legitimately by the restaurant.

Goodwin said in August 2010 Dotson traveled from West Virginia to Bristol, Tenn., with nearly $12,000 in proceeds from the illegal gambling operation and used that money to help purchase a sports car. 

In October  2013, agents from the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigative Division raided the gambling parlor, seizing 40 machines in operation and another 40 machines in storage.

As part of the plea agreement, Dotson agreed to forfeit nearly $150,000 in cash, a $96,000 Mercedes sport-utility vehicle, a $50,000 Rolex watch, and several expensive firearms, in addition to the 80 machines seized from the South Williamson operation. 

In addition to the forfeiture, Dotson faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced in June.

The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigative Division with assistance from the FBI.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Ryan is in charge of the prosecution.