Home Pittsburgh Press Releases 2014 West Logan Restaurant Owner Pleads Guilty to Laundering Cash from Illegal Gambling Operation

West Logan Restaurant Owner Pleads Guilty to Laundering Cash from Illegal Gambling Operation
Defendant Traveled to Tennessee to Purchase Sports Car with Ill-Gotten Gains

U.S. Attorney’s Office March 07, 2014
  • Southern District of West Virginia (304) 345-2200

CHARLESTON, WV—U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced today that a West Logan restaurant owner pled guilty Thursday to laundering cash from an illegal gambling operation. Since May of 2008, Gregory A. Dotson, 51, of Chapmanville, who was the proprietor of Giovanni’s of Logan in West Logan, operated an illegal poker machine gambling parlor in the back of a tobacco store in South Williamson, Kentucky. Although payouts from poker machines, often referred to as gray machines, are illegal under Kentucky law, Dotson routinely paid out gambling winnings to patrons. Dotson retrieved the proceeds from the illegal gambling operation weekly and brought the cash across state lines to his office at Giovanni’s. Dotson then commingled the cash he brought in from his legitimate business with that from his illegal enterprise.

On August 16, 2010, Dotson traveled from West Virginia to Bristol, Tennessee with nearly $12,000 of cash proceeds from the illegal gambling operation and used those funds to help purchase a sports car.

In October of 2013, agents from the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigative Division raided the gambling parlor, seizing 40 machines in operation and another 40 machines in storage.

As part of the plea agreement, Dotson agreed to forfeit nearly $150,000 in cash, a $96,000 Mercedes sport utility vehicle, a $50,000 Rolex watch, and several expensive firearms, in addition to the 80 gray machines seized from the South Williamson operation.

In addition to the forfeiture, Dotson faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on June 11, 2014.

The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigative Division with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Ryan is in charge of the prosecution.