Alabama’s Gambling Corruption Trial

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This summer nine defendants including Alabama casino owner Milton McGregor go on trial. They’re accused of buying and selling votes around a pro-gambling bill in the state legislature. The case draws on hours of secretly recorded wiretaps and promises to reveal the underside of wheeling and dealing in Montgomery.

WBHM’s Andrew Yeager will follow the month’s long case and offers updates of the unfolding action.

Alabama Bingo Corruption Trial Players
Milton McGregorMilton McGregor is the owner of VictoryLand casino and dog track and the Birmingham Race Course. He has been a long time funder of Alabama political campaigns. McGregor is accused of working with Country Crossing casino developer Ronnie Gilley among others to offer campaign contributions, jobs and other support to legislators in exchange for a “yes” vote on a gambling bill in 2010


Harri Anne SmithState Senator Harri Anne Smith is an independent from Slocomb. She switched from Republican in 2010 after the party blocked her from the ballot for supporting a Democrat in a congressional race. Smith is accused of changing her position on gambling after receiving campaign contributions from Gilley.


Jim PreuittJim Preuitt is a former Republican state senator from Talladega. He left the Democratic Party in 2010 and did not run for reelection. Preuitt owns an auto dealership. He’s accused of changing his vote on the gambling bill after being offered $2 million dollars in contributions and country music star appearances for campaign rallies.


Quinton RossState Senator Quinton Ross is a Democrat from Montgomery. He’s the director of adult education at Trenholm State Technical College. Ross is accused of asking for campaign funding from gambling interests for his support of the gambling bill.


Larry MeansLarry Means is a former Democratic state senator from Attalla who lost reelection in 2010. He’s accused of asking for $100,000 from gambling interests for his vote on the gambling bill.


Tom Coker is a well-known Montgomery lobbyist whose clients include Milton McGregor. He is accused of handling some of the campaign contributions allegedly offered to legislators.


Robert Geddie is a long time Montgomery lobbyist who co-founded the firm Fine Geddie and Associates. He is accused of handling some of the campaign contributions allegedly offered to legislators and of falsifying records to hide contributions from Milton McGregor.


Joseph “Ray” Crosby works for the Legislative Reference Service, which helps write bills for Alabama legislators. He is accused of making changes to a gambling bill for Milton McGregor, while being paid $3,000 a month by McGregor.


Jay Walker was a spokesman for Country Crossing. He has also worked in Georgia state politics. Walker is accused of making offers of country music star appearances to former State Senator Jim Preuitt on behalf of Country Crossing owner Ronnie Gilley.


Indicted and Pleaded Guilty
Ronnie Gilley is the developer of Country Crossing casino in Dothan. He pleaded guilty in April to bribing state legislators with campaign contributions, appearances by country music stars and other political support in exchange for yes votes on a gambling bill. Gilley testified for government prosecutors as part of a plea deal.


Jarrod Massey is a Montgomery lobbyist, owner of the firm Mantra Government. He pleaded guilty in December 2010 to bribing state legislators for their support of gambling legislation. Massey testified for government prosecutors and has already begun serving his sentence.


Pleaded Guilty
Jennifer Pouncy is a Montgomery lobbyist who worked for Jarrod Massey’s firm. She pleaded guilty in September 2010 to offering former State Senator Jim Preuitt $2 million dollars for his vote on a gambling bill. Pouncy is expected to testify for the government.


Legislators who Cooperated with Investigators
Scott BeasonState Senator Scott Beason is a Republican from Gardendale. He cooperated with FBI investigators by wearing a wire and recording phone conversations. Beason testified Jarrod Massey offered him a $1 million a year public relations job. He also testified about a meeting with Massey, Ronnie Gilley and Milton McGregor where they discussed political support for Beason’s vote on a gambling bill.


Barry MaskState Representative Barry Mask is a Republican from Wetumpka. He contacted the FBI after receiving a voice mail from Milton McGregor in Feb. 2010. Mask was concerned because he had not talked to McGregor for some time and heard rumors of votes being bought around gambling legislation. Mask testified about a phone call where he said McGregor tried to bribe him and a fundraiser where lobbyist Robert Geddie showed up uninvited with $5,000 in contributions.


Benjamin LewisBenjamin Lewis served in the Alabama House until June 2010 when former Governor Bob Riley appointed him Houston County district judge. He was the first legislator to go to the FBI after a March 2009 meeting aimed at promoting the Country Crossing casino hosted by Ronnie Gilley. Lewis testified Gilley became argumentative at the meeting and offered a bribe.

Andrew Yeager

Andrew Yeager