Sentencing For Allied Veterans Attorney

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Associated Press Release
By MIKE SCHNEIDER

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) -- An attorney for a veterans group that prosecutors say was a $300 million gambling operation is being sentenced for his conviction on 103 counts.

Kelly Mathis faces dozens of years in prison during his sentencing hearing Wednesday.

He was convicted last year for possessing slot machines, helping operate a lottery and racketeering.

Mathis contends he was only giving legal advice to Allied Veterans of the World. Other Allied Veterans leaders, who reached plea deals with prosecutors, also face sentencing Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Mathis and his associates built up the network of casinos by claiming they were businesses where customers could buy Internet time, when in reality they were slot machine games.

Arrests in the Allied Veterans case last year led to the resignation of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll.


Associated Press Release
By MIKE SCHNEIDER

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The verdict in a Florida attorney's trial will likely influence how the remaining two dozen or so co-defendants resolve their cases arising from charges that Internet cafes operated by a veterans charity were a front for a $300 million gambling operation.

Jurors will continue deliberations Friday in Jacksonville attorney Kelly Mathis' trial on charges that he helped build the alleged gambling operation under the guise of a veterans' charity.

Jurors deliberated for five hours Thursday before going home for the night.

Mathis was the first of 57 defendants to go on trial in the Allied Veterans case that led to the resignation of Florida's lieutenant governor and a ban on all Internet cafes in the state earlier this year.


Associated Press Release
By MIKE SCHNEIDER

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) -- Florida's statewide prosecutor has told jurors that an attorney "gamed" the legal system to help build a multimillion-dollar network of storefront casinos throughout Florida under the guise of a veterans' charity.

In rebuttal closing arguments, Nick Cox said Thursday at Kelly Mathis' trial that the Jacksonville attorney manipulated the law while helping Allied Veterans of the World set up Internet cafes in Florida.

Later Thursday, jurors could begin deliberating whether Mathis committed any crimes.

Mathis is the first of 57 defendants to go on trial in the Allied Veterans case that led to the resignation of Florida's lieutenant governor and a ban on all Internet cafes in the state.

During earlier closing arguments, his defense attorney said prosecutors had misinterpreted what was a gaming promotion and labeled it as gambling.


Associated Press Release
By MIKE SCHNEIDER

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) -- Jurors will begin deliberations after receiving jury instructions in the trial of an attorney accused of helping to build a multimillion-dollar network of storefront casinos throughout Florida under the guise of a veterans' charity.

Jurors at Kelly Mathis' trial on Thursday were hearing closing rebuttal arguments from prosecutors before being instructed in the law.

Mathis is the first of more than 50 other defendants to go on trial in the Allied Veterans of World case that led to the resignation of Florida's lieutenant governor and a ban on all Internet cafes in the state. It also drove legislators to return campaign donations made by the group.

During closing arguments on Thursday, his defense attorney told jurors that prosecutors had misinterpreted what was a gaming promotion and labeled it as gambling.


Associated Press Release

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) -- The trial of a Jacksonville attorney charged with using a veterans group to help build a network of storefront casinos throughout Florida is winding down.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys on Monday haggled over jury instructions at attorney Kelly Mathis' trial in Sanford.

Mathis is charged with more than 100 counts of illegal gambling and possessing slot machines. He is pleading not guilty, claiming he gave legal advice to the Allied Veterans of the World affiliates.

His attorneys also say the network of Internet cafes were legal.

The arrest of Mathis and 56 other defendants earlier this year caused the Florida Legislature to ban Internet cafes and led to the resignation of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll.

Carroll had worked as a consultant for Allied Veterans. She wasn't charged with any crime.


Associated Press Release
By: MIKE SCHNEIDER

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) -- Attorneys for a Jacksonville lawyer asked judge to throw out charges alleging that Kelly Mathis helped build a $300 million gambling operation.

Mathis attorneys on Tuesday asked Judge Kenneth Lester to toss his case, claiming prosecutors failed to prove the Jacksonville attorney is guilty of any crime.

They say Mathis never controlled, owned or managed any of the dozens of Allied Veterans Internet cafes in Florida, and even if he did, the centers were offering sweepstakes not gambling.

Defense attorneys also said Mathis was acting only as an attorney, giving legal advice.

The arrest of Mathis and 56 other people in March prompted the Florida Legislature to ban Internet cafes and led to the resignation of former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, who had worked as a consultant for Allied Veterans.


Associated Press Release
By: MIKE SCHNEIDER

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- A jury has been selected in the trial of a Jacksonville attorney accused of being the mastermind behind a veteran's charity that prosecutors say actually was a $290 million gambling operation.

Opening statements are set Thursday morning in Kelly Mathis' trial on money laundering and other charges.

Prosecutors say Mathis and the operators of Allied Veterans of the World were running a mostly bogus charity that got its money from dozens of casinos masquerading as Internet cafes throughout Florida.

Mathis claims he only was giving legal advice and that the Internet cafes were legal.

The arrest of Mathis and 56 others prompted the Florida Legislature to ban the storefront Internet cafes. It also led to the resignation of former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, who had worked as a consultant.


Associated Press Release

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) -- The Jacksonville lawyer who prosecutors say masterminded a veterans' charity that was actually a $290 million gambling operation is the first of dozens of defendants to go to trial.

Jury selection starts Monday in Kelly Mathis' trial. It comes six months after Mathis and 56 other defendants affiliated with Allied Veterans of the World were arrested and charged with money laundering and other charges.

Several defendants have reached plea agreements with prosecutors.

Mathis says he merely gave legal advice. He says a conviction could send a chilling effect to other lawyers if his prosecution is successful.

The arrests led to the resignation of Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, who had worked as an Allied Veterans consultant. It also inspired the Florida Legislature to ban the Internet cafes.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WCTV 1801 Halstead Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 223759601 - wctv.tv/a?a=223759601