Dirty Money?: Trail from allegedly illegal casinos to Florida politicians

More than $1.3 million connected to accused racketeers, money launderers

Published On: Mar 14 2013 11:50:37 AM EDT   Updated On: Mar 14 2013 06:47:42 PM EDT
Money-Bills
ORLANDO, Fla. -

A Local 6 investigation has uncovered more than $1.3 million in Internet casino money flowing from the accused racketeers and money launderers to Florida politicians.

The amount is much greater than what is being reported by other news organizations because Local 6 included dozens of shell and affiliate companies named in criminal court documents as being funded by the alleged $300 million illegal gambling conspiracy.

For a detailed list of what the data reveal, click here.

Among our exclusive findings so far:

• From 2009 through 2012, companies controlled by or affiliated with Allied Veterans or their principals donated $1,336,226 to Florida political candidates, officials, parties and committees.

• The top recipient – the Republican Party of Florida – took in $546,335 (40 percent of all the money tracked from the Internet casinos and their associates).

• The Florida Democratic Party received $237,000, or nearly 18 percent of the total.

• Committees of Continuous Existence, or CCEs, received $277,500 -- 20.8 percent of the total. More than 75 percent of the money went to CCEs associated with Republican lawmakers, including the most money going to the CCE associated with state Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla. The Miami Republican led the effort to keep Internet casinos open after a Central Florida legislator last year proposed shutting them down. A request for comment from de la Portilla has, so far, gone unanswered.

• Republican candidates or incumbents received $148,000, or 11% of all the contributions. Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign received one of the smallest contributions of all -- only $1,000, from two $500 contributions in August 2010. He has said he would donate to charity any money he received from Allied Veterans or its affiliates.

• Democratic candidates and incumbents received $82,641, or 6 percent. The most went to Scott Maddox and David Aronberg, who were running, respectively, for Agriculture Commissioner and Attorney General, the statewide offices that have the most authority over determining whether Internet casinos were breaking the law.

• Electioneering Communications Organizations, or ECOs, got $44,000, or 3%.