Denver Man Sentenced for Conspiracy to Defraud the U.S. for Running an Illegal Gambling Business
DENVER—Kerwin Dale Sande, age 60, of Denver, Colorado, was sentenced earlier this week by U.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore to serve 15 months in federal prison for Conspiring to Own and Operate an Illegal Gambling Business and money laundering, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the IRS-Criminal Investigation announced. Following his prison sentence, Sande was ordered to serve three years on supervised release. As part of resolving his case, Sande agreed to the forfeiture of $2.0 million in cash and assets. Judge Moore ordered the defendant to report to a Bureau of Prisons facility once one is designated.
According to the Information and plea agreement, starting in the summer of 2006 and continuing through October of 2013, Sande operated a gambling business. He operated his business out of his home; he maintained his primary residence in the Denver Metropolitan area while also living at times in a secondary residence in Scottsdale, Arizona. He recruited, entertained and interacted with bettors at exclusive golf and country clubs; he maintained over a half-dozen memberships in such private clubs in various states including Colorado, Arizona, Oklahoma and California. His business focused primarily on sports bookmaking which included wagers on a variety of sporting events to include major league baseball games and golf, as well as professional and collegiate football, basketball and hockey.
Sande would assign a given bettor a credit limit within which the bettor was authorized to place bets and accepted bets through various means including on the telephone, through at least 5 or more “bet-takers”, and over the Internet using an off-shore Internet betting website which he controlled (www.playfastsports.com). The website was housed and maintained through computer servers registered in Costa Rica.
Sande collected gambler’s debts in a variety of ways including taking cash payments directly from bettors at golf clubs, private parties or other public locations. He also accepted checks from bettors which would commonly be made out to his company, KDS Enterprises., Inc., as well as collecting wire transfers. On occasions he received payment in the form of valuable coins, and, on one occasion, he accepted a motorcycle, in place of monetary payment. He paid bettors their winnings in cash but occasionally he would write checks and he would sometimes send cash payments directly to bettors using federal express in which he would conceal the cash in the sealed pages of a magazine. Sande drove and owned several high-end sports and luxury cars, a number of which contained built-in, hidden lock boxes which he utilized to transport and transfer large sums of bulk currency for his unlawful gambling operation.
“Defendant’s elaborate and extensive gambling enterprise was completely outside the law,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “The sentence in this case is a warning and a reminder that unlicensed gambling – including sports bookmaking — is a serious crime.”
“Yesterday’s sentencing is indicative of the success that can be attained when agencies combine resources to investigate illegal gambling operations,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle. “It takes joint investigations such as this one, which combined our state and federal resources, to investigate criminal organizations of this nature. The FBI is committed to continue working with our law enforcement partners and prosecutors to investigate and prosecute alleged organized criminal activity.”
“The scope of this illegal gambling and money laundering operation wasn’t isolated to Colorado; rather, this activity reached an international level and impacted numerous lives over a seven-year period,” said CBI Director Ron Sloan. “However, the dedication and investigative tenacity demonstrated by CBI agents and our local and federal partners ensured Mr. Sande will be held accountable for his actions.”
“IRS Criminal Investigation is experienced in unraveling complex financial transactions and money laundering schemes where individuals attempt to conceal the true source of their money,” stated Stephen Boyd, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office. “This sentence should serve as a deterrent to those who might contemplate similar fraudulent actions.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation with assistance from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim R. Neff.