Video Poker Owner Pleads Guilty
COLUMBIA, SC—United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Larry W. Flynn, a/k/a “L.W. Flynn,” age 40, of Columbia, South Carolina has entered guilty pleas in federal court to Operating a Gambling Business, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1955, and Evading Federal Taxes, in violation of 26 U.S.C § 7201. Senior United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. accepted the guilty plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented to the Court established that Flynn operated a video-poker gambling business in violation of South Carolina gambling laws and evaded paying taxes on the money he made from his gambling business. Between 2010 and 2013, Flynn owned and ran Magic Minutes, a South Carolina company that placed video-poker machines in various locations, such as convenience stores, liquor stores, party shops, and bowling alleys. On the machines owned by Flynn—as well as others who paid to utilize the name Magic Minutes—users could buy a “voucher” for phone minutes and then play black jack, keno, poker, and other games of chance. SLED seized over 200 Magic Minutes’ machines, which FBI experts determined to be illegal gambling devices. In operating this illegal gambling business in 2011 and 2012, Flynn had a substantial taxable income yet took various steps to evade his tax responsibility including not filing tax returns, operating a significant portion of his business and personal life in cash, and paying employees in cash.
Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty for operating a gambling business is imprisonment for five years and/or a fine of $250,000, and the maximum penalty for tax evasion is imprisonment for five years and/or a fine of $100,000.
The case was investigated by agents of the FBI, SLED, and IRS-CID. Assistant United States Attorneys Jim May and Jay Richardson are prosecuting the case, along with attorneys from the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.