Eleven Indicted, One Guilty Plea in Bribery Probe

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Federal officials have indicted the owner of Alabama's largest casino, four state senators and several top lobbyists, in an alleged scheme to buy and sell votes to get electronic bingo legalized.

One defendant also has pleaded guilty to offering $2 million for a vote.

The Justice Department announced Monday that an employee of a Montgomery lobbying firm, Jennifer Pouncy, admitted she offered the $2 million to a senator at the direction of her boss, casino lobbyist Jarrod Massey.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer says the federal investigation found criminal activity that was astonishing in scope. He calls it a full-scale campaign to bribe legislators and others.

The indictment, with 11 defendants, also alleges senators solicited money for their votes.

VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor, 71, of Montgomery, is among those indicted. He was charged with one count of conspiracy, six counts of federal program bribery, and 11 counts of honest services mail and wire fraud. His attorney said he is absolutely innocent and looks forward to proving it.

Others indicted in the case

* Ronald E. Gilley, 45, of Enterprise, Ala., was charged with one count of conspiracy, six counts of federal program bribery, 11 counts of honest services mail and wire fraud, and four counts of money laundering;
* Jarrod D. Massey, 39, of Montgomery, Ala., was charged with one count of conspiracy, five counts of federal program bribery, and 11 counts of honest services mail and wire fraud;
* Thomas E. Coker, 70, of Lowndesboro, Ala., was charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of federal program bribery, and 11 counts of honest services mail and wire fraud;
* Robert B. Geddie Jr., 60, of Montgomery, Ala., was charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of federal program bribery, 11 counts of honest services mail and wire fraud, and one count of obstruction of justice;
* Jarrell W. Walker Jr., 36, of Lanett, Ala., was charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of federal program bribery, and 11 counts of honest services mail and wire fraud;
* Harri Anne H. Smith, 48, of Slocomb, Ala., was charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of federal program bribery, one count of extortion, 11 counts of honest services mail and wire fraud, and four counts of money laundering;
* Larry P. Means, 63, of Attalla, Ala., was charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of federal program bribery, two counts of attempted extortion, and 11 counts of honest services mail and wire fraud;
* James E. Preuitt, 75, of Talladega, Ala., was charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of federal program bribery, one count of attempted extortion, 11 counts of honest services mail and wire fraud, and one count of making a false statement;
* Quinton T. Ross Jr., 41, of Montgomery, Ala., was charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of federal program bribery, two counts of attempted extortion, and 11 counts of honest services mail and wire fraud; and
* Joseph R. Crosby, 61, of Montgomery, Ala., was charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of federal program bribery, and 11 counts of honest services mail and wire fraud.


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