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Owner of illegal gambling business pleads guilty

Authorities say Allan Siebert agreed to waive his indictment and plead guilty to the charges of operating an illegal gambling business and tax evasion. (MGN Photo)

A 75-year-old Little Rock man has pleaded guilty to operating an illegal gambling business and tax evasion after authorities raided the Chicot Game Room earlier this year.

Cody Hiland, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced Friday that Allan Siebert agreed to waive his indictment and plead guilty to the charges. Seibert will pay $331,821 in restitution to the IRS as part of his plea agreement and he will forfeit property and more than $1 million representing proceeds of the illegal gambling operation.

From at least August 2007 to May 2017, Siebert owned Chicot Game Room, which used gaming devices that were illegal in the state.

Authorities say between January 2012 and October 2016, he evaded paying $331,821 in federal income tax that he owed. He allegedly did this through withholding cash from his business deposits, funneling business receipts into his personal properties, and causing his accountant to prepare false U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns.

“For nearly a decade this defendant broke the law, but today his illegal conduct caught up with him,” Hiland said. “Mr. Seibert not only defrauded the United States, he also exploited the hundreds of people he took money from over the years with his illegal gaming machines. This case should send a message to the Eastern District of Arkansas that our office will not tolerate this type of behavior.”

“No matter the source of income, all income is taxable, including illegal gambling proceeds,” Montaño said. “Everyone has a responsibility to file correct and accurate tax returns. The prosecution of individuals who intentionally conceal income and evade taxes is a vital element of the IRS Criminal Investigation’s enforcement strategy. We will vigorously investigate those individuals who knowingly and willfully evade their tax obligation.”

For tax evasion, the maximum penalties include not more than five years in prison, a $100,000 fine and three years of supervised release. For operating an illegal gambling business, penalties could include not more than five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years supervised release.

Siebert will be sentenced at a later date.


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