OIU concludes criminal enterprise investigation

OIU News Release

Date: March 27, 2017
Contact: Agent-in-Charge Greg Croft
(216) 898-1870 or (614) 752-2792

OIU concludes criminal enterprise investigation

(Cleveland) - A Wooster man and his company were sentenced as a result of their guilty pleas related to gambling and racketeering in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. 

On March 27, Richard Johnson, 67, was sentenced for convictions of gambling and possession of criminal tools. His company Silver State Inc., 2709 Tanglewood Drive, Wooster, was also sentenced for the felony charge of attempted engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. 

As part of the sentence, Johnson was ordered to forfeit more than $320,000 and placed on two years of community control sanctions, while Silver State Inc. was ordered to pay an additional $10,000 fine. Johnson and Silver State Inc., also agreed to, “…immediately cease all business operations related to the Puzzle Bug electronic gaming device and/or other electronic gaming devices, including but not limited to, the manufacture, sale, placement, distribution, advertisement, collections, service and/or maintenance.”

Agents with the Ohio Investigative Unit conducted the four year investigation into the illegal criminal enterprise, along with the United States Secret Service, Wooster Police Department, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Ohio Attorney General’s office, and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. The investigation focused on the manufacture, distribution and use of illegal slot machines across the state of Ohio.

During the course of the investigation, more than 40 individuals and companies were convicted of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, money laundering, gambling and possession of criminal tools. OIU agents seized more than 400 illegal slot machines and courts have ordered more than $4.3 million in forfeiture.

Additional charges are expected on several out-of-state manufacturers identified during the investigation. 

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