Indiana casino exec and previous Republican lawmaker faces latest income tax scam expenses

Indiana casino exec and previous Republican lawmaker faces latest income tax scam expenses

a national huge jury slapped an Indiana casino administrator with extra expense Tuesday for his alleged character in a system to channel casino money into an ex-state senator’s unsuccessful campaign for Congress.

John Keeler was already experiencing four national prices for allegedly using the services of out-of-state political consultants to enroll straw donors when the brand-new charges comprise introduced recently. Those straw donors funded previous state Republican Sen. Brent Waltz’s congressional venture in 2015. They were then reimbursed with resources from Keeler’s casino organization brand new Centaur LLC, according to federal prosecutors.

In a 2016 business taxation return for New Centaur’s parent team Centaur Holdings, Keeler detailed a $41,000 team payment to your out-of-state political experts as a deductible expenses. He furthermore amended a corporate taxation return from 2015 to add deductions for $79,500 in team payments on the specialists.

But bodies think those payments weren’t deductible spending after all. They think they certainly were resources the specialists routed into Waltz’s venture coffers through straw donors, which could make certain they are political efforts. Venture efforts can not be indexed as a business cost under national laws.

Late casino heavyweights

Keeler, a legal professional and previous Republican member of the Indiana Household of associates, have conducted significant opportunities inside condition’s casino field. After New Centaur LLC got sold for $1.7 billion to Las Vegas-based Caesars activity in 2018, the guy joined up with causes with another Indiana casino icon, Rod Ratcliff, to launch Spectacle enjoyment.

Keeler is the acting vice president and general advice for Spectacle after indictment against your and Waltz, who’s in addition being prosecuted for his character in the illegal share strategy, got unsealed in national courtroom this past year. Keeler got management allow from providers after the indictment.

Spectacle combined with Hard Rock International in 2019 to improve two new gambling enterprises in Gary and Terre Haute. Per year later on, the Indiana video gaming Commission stripped Keeler and Ratcliff of their gaming certificates in response to state and federal research shadowing their own team. Ratcliff will not be charged with any crimes.

Hard Rock International features since ordered a big part stake when you look at the Hard-rock Casino in Gary, really overtaking the facility from Spectacle.

Spectacle ended up being very influential on laws surrounding Indiana’s casino industry through the quick cycle it actually was work by Keeler and Ratcliff. The firm lobbied the governor and state lawmakers to evolve condition rules and enable Spectacle to move two of its Gary casino licenses to a lot more greatly traveled areas.

Lawmakers furthermore decreased a fee Spectacle needed to spend into the Indiana games Commission for developing a unique casino in Gary from $100 million to $20 million.

Private flights for Holcomb

IndyStar reported Ratcliff handled Gov. Eric Holcomb to two personal aircraft flights in 2018 all over energy Spectacle got driving for changes to state gaming law. The excursions had been reported as an element of half a million dollars Ratcliff and his enterprises contributed in 2018 on Republican Governors organization, much more than nearly any additional casino driver or Indiana company.

The connection provided $7.6 million to Holcomb’s 2016 operate for governor, making it an important economic backer of their campaign. An ethics overview by the Indiana Inspector standard found Holcomb wouldn’t dedicate any wrongdoing because aircraft, that have been guided to Republican Governors organization happenings, were made available to the connection and not Holcomb’s company.

«really what it is,» Keeler said, whenever contacted by IndyStar in 2019 within his role as Spectacle’s common counsel. «We are part of the RGA. We’d an additional chair or two regarding the jet, the governor travelled along with us. Not a big deal.»

The next hearing in the case against Keeler and Waltz was scheduled Oct. 14 in national courthouse in Indianapolis.

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