MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Four people pleaded guilty on Thursday for their roles in an illegal sports bookmaking operation in St. Paul.
Douglas Sabby, his wife Tanya Pizel, Renee Peltier and John Boss II entered their pleas in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.
Sabby admitted in court that he has been a bookie since the 1970s and that his gambling business involved about $1 million per month in wagers for extended periods of time. He said he operated out of several St. Paul bars where his bettors would pick up their winnings and drop off their losses in envelopes either directly to him or with bar owners and employees.
Several bar owners helped Sabby launder some of the money by cashing checks written by bettors as payments for wagering losses, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Sabby pleaded guilty to 13 felony counts, including operating an illegal gambling business and calling to collect and pay wagering taxes.
Pizel pleaded guilty to conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business and two other counts, Peltier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business, and Boss pleaded guilty to failing to tell law enforcement of the operation.
As part of his plea agreement, Boss agreed to place a full-page ad in the St. Paul Pioneer Press to educate gamblers about the illegal nature of sports bookmaking. All four agreed to cooperate with the government.
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