Monday, December 20, 2010

And so it begins: Jarrod Massey will plead guilty in Bingo Case

image Ask any good investigator why they were able to unravel such a complicated, well planned conspiracy and the answer is almost always “somebody talked.”

Jarrod Massey, one of the lobbyists accused of trying to influence politicians’ votes on a controversial bingo gambling bill in Alabama, will change his plea to guilty on six of the charges leveled against him.

The Mobile Press-Register has the story, breaking today:

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- The federal electronic filing system indicates that lobbyist Jarrod D. Massey has given notice today in federal court that he intends to plead guilty to 6 counts leveled against him in the bingo bribery case.

A federal indictment against Massey and 10 others alleges that Massey offered state legislators bribes worth $3.2 million in a scheme to pass pro­-gambling legislation.

The federal court system filing states that Massey intends to plead guilty to counts 1, 2, 4, 5, 8 and 10 of the indictment and that he was to enter the pleas today  before United States Judge Wallace Capel.

Massey's plea likely will send shockwaves through the other defendants in the case, many of whom have said they will fight the charges and that there was no undue legislative influence in the bingo vote.

Early pleas can be a sign that a defendant has agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors and testify against fellow defendants in return for leniency from the court system.

Minor nit: Wallace Capel is a Magistrate, not a full “black robe.”

For folks just crawling out from underneath rocks or returning from months long deployment to Mars, The BingoGate® case is part of a wide-ranging federal probe into corruption in the state of Alabama. The feds are investigating bank fraud, political corruption and the probe may go as far as finding whether a criminal enterprise is in control of a major college athletics program.

Readers wishing to get the background should start with the piece from last month: The court cases that kicked in the Barn door.

Plea deals like the one Massey is making often lead to a domino effect in federal cases, especially if one or more of the “weak sisters” among the defendants believe the early pleaders are squealing on them. Of course, the big fish in BingoGate® is Mllton McGregor.

But there is a bigger fish out there…

UPDATE: Massey is a 1994 graduate of Auburn University.

UPDATE II: The complete text of Massey’s filing:



Case No.: 2:10-CR-186-MHT-001





Comes now the defendant in the above-styled cause and hereby gives notice of his intent to plead guilty to counts One, Two, Four, Five, Eight, and Ten of the indictment in this cause.

This change of plea is based on plea negotiations with the U.S. Attorney. As a result of these plea negotiations and in exchange for his plea of guilty, the Government has agreed to recommend to the Court that Counts Twenty-Three through Thirty-Three of the Indictment be dismissed, along with additional considerations.

The Defendant understands that pursuant to the provisions of Rule 11(e)(1)(B) F.R.Cr.P., a recommendation of the U.S. Attorney pursuant to this plea is not binding upon the Court. The Defendant further understands that if his plea of guilty is offered based on a recommendation of the U.S. Attorney he will have no right to withdraw his plea of guilty if the Court elects not to accept the recommendation of the U.S. Attorney.

College T-shirts

UPDATE III: Massey’s plea is accepted by the Government only upon his providing “substantial assistance” to the prosecution.

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