Federal Agents Target Texas Car Dealer In Illegal Sports Betting Sting
A Beaumont-based car salesman has recently been apprehended by federal agents who accuse him of running an illegal sports betting ring. Agents are attempting to exercise civil forfeiture and seize properties owned by the accused which are valued at more than $5 million.
The arrest of Larry Tillery came after an intercepted communication revealed the car dealer to be making payouts to punters following this year’s Super Bowl event. A search of Tillery’s car revealed a substantial sum of cash, totaling $230,000, which was subsequently seized by authorities and the owner taken into custody.
Federal authorities have since filed an Affidavit In Support Of Seizure Of Civil Forfeiture to seize nine properties of the Tillery family’s real estate holdings as well as monetary assets. Within the affidavit, authorities outline their efforts of seizure and argue that Tillery and his associates had been “operating an illegal gambling and money laundering enterprise.” Authorities also contend that the real estate holdings in question were purchased exclusively using cash earnings from the aforementioned illegal gambling operations. Agents involved are optimistic that, based on the evidence gathered during their three-year investigation, their prosecution will lead to Tillery’s, among others’, incarceration.
Owner of the Daylight Motors used car dealership, Tillery had apparently been under investigation since 2014 following a tipoff authorities received anonymously in regard to Tillery’s dealings. They began to take a closer look at the businessman, who reported gambling earnings of nearly $12 million in 2014, while gambling expenses in excess of $11 million were reported during the same year.
An Investigation Three Years In The Making
At that point in time an undercover agent had begun placing wagers on sporting events with Raymond Duplantis, also named in the Affidavit submitted by federal authorities, who was known to be associated with Tillery. Duplantis revealed to the agent that while he supported a larger volume of punters, Tillery entertained the higher wagers in the region. Duplantis said that Tillery would accept wagers as high as $100,000 on a single sporting event.
A year of undercover dealings passed until the agent was introduced to Tillery at a meeting in Houston, Texas. An exchange of $15,000 took place, after which the money was deposited into an account that would be credited or debited based on the results of wagers on sporting events. A second meeting followed in June of 2016 where Tillery received an additional $20,000 from the agent. Tillery’s Son, Brian Tillery had received $15,000 from the agent in another meeting arranged later that summer.
Federal authorities investigated bank accounts from Tillery dating back to 2007, which were revealed to have had numerous checks and wire transfers worth tens of thousands, and in some cases hundreds of thousands, of dollars that they were confident had been used to place wagers on sporting events.
The results of super Bowl 51 sealed the fate of Tillery as he was recorded over the phone explicitly telling his wife he’d be receiving money from his son Brian that day, after which point he planned to travel to Houston to make payouts on Super Bowl wagers.
Beyond Larry Tillery himself being named in the affidavit, his wife Judy Tillery, his son, Brian Tillery, and his daughter, Tara Miller, are all named as criminal associates. The Tillery family declined to comment on the situation when approached by local news outlets.
The US Attorney’s Office spoke directly to anyone that had recently purchased automobiles from the Tillery dealership, confirming that they would be untouched by the proceedings and would still be required to pay their monthly bills as outlined in their purchasing contracts.
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