Sports book operator pleads guilty |

Sports book operator pleads guilty

Christina Proctor

A Stateline man pleaded guilty last week to the felony charge of operating an unlicensed sports book out of a Zephyr Cove business complex.

Michael Reeder, 35, was arrested last March along with four other suspects after 11 agents from the Nevada Gaming Control Board raided a suite in Elk Point Plaza at 310 Dorla Court. Agents found about $60,000 to $80,000 worth of computer and telephone equipment and six desks inside the work area of ST Investing.

As the agents forced their way in employees began stuffing documents into paper shredders, investigators said. The raid was carried out with the help of five Southern California investigators just hours before the NCAA Basketball Tournament. After the arrests, investigators posed as bookmakers and took wagers virtually non-stop from callers as far away as New York.

Investigators stated that the illegal business took a majority of wagers via toll-free phone lines from out-of-state callers. There are licensed casino sports betting operations in Nevada, but only phone bets from within the state are legal.

The March 31 raid was on the same day that a criminal complaint with 27 similar counts, was filed against Reeder and six other individuals in Orange County Municipal Court.

Investigators believe an illegal bookmaking operation in Cerritos, Calif., is affiliated with the Zephyr Cove business.

Reeder will face sentencing in the Douglas County case on June 23. Douglas County Deputy District Attorney Alan Buttell said Reeder may be required to reimburse law enforcement for its costs.

The others arrested in the March 31 raid – Michael Harvin, 30, Nicole Berlandier, 24, and Shannon Dolan, 23, all of Stateline – pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of messenger betting.

Reeder also faces a substantial forfeiture case brought by the Nevada attorney general’s office and the gaming control board. Among the items listed in the complaint are four condominiums in Lake Village, a residence, vehicles, and all the computer equipment confiscated in the raid.

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