There are many targets of opportunity in the unfolding Alabama bingo corruption case set to go to trial on June 6. But none were bigger than Milton McGregor and Ronald Gilley, the two casino owners and developers who are alleged to have assembled a network of lobbyists and set out to bribe legislators in order to get a constitutional amendment on the 2010 ballot that would have allowed electronic gambling in establishments owned, operated and/or planned by the two.
Now one of the two, Ronald Gilley, has elected to plead guilty to 11 charges in connection with the case and in the “factual basis” for his plea agreement, it’s clear that the two allies are now enemies.
A key statement in that factual basis is the following: “[This factual basis] is a summary, made for the purpose of providing the Court with a factual basis for the defendant's guilty plea to the charges against him. It does not include all of the facts known to the defendant concerning activity in which he engaged.”
In other words, when he takes the stand, Gilley will provide testimony not laid out in public court filings. The defense will have access to his proffers [information he provides to investigators and which the prosecution intends to present at trial], but a great deal of the documentation in this case has gone onto the docket under seal, preventing public access and publication by this site and the news media.
There will be high drama in the courtroom in June.
Milton McGregor is man with a long reputation for influence-peddling when it comes to gambling in the state of Alabama. In fact, he’s known for peddling influence in a host of other money-making opportunities in the state.
He once sat on the board of directors for Colonial BancGroup and served on that board’s Compensation Committee. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. A man who will stand trial about a month from now—on charges of money laundering, conspiracy and bribery—deliberated on how the employees and executives of the sixth largest bank to fail in American history would be paid. He is also known as a big time contributor to one of the two largest athletic programs in the state—Auburn University.
Gambling. Mortgage and bank fraud. College athletics. If there was money to be made in this state, Milton McGregor probably had a finger in the pie, and all three are currently under investigation. McGregor has been a busy fellow, hasn’t he?
But now, his one-time protégé has apparently turned against him, and the protégé appears to be aiming his testimony squarely at the man who helped finance his Casino Crossings “entertainment extravaganza” and put him on the map of power players in the state. But in an ancillary development, Gilley’s testimony also puts a great deal of pressure on those who worked the “McGregor side” of the two-legged conspiracy. Mssrs. Coker and Geddie are now on the clock. Do they roll on the big guy too, or do they go down with him under the blazing testimony of Gilley, Jarrod Massey and Jennifer Pouncy?
Exit question: Mr. McGregor surely has knowledge of a case or cases unrelated to the bingo case. Perhaps one or more of these represent a bigger prize for a highly politicized Department of Justice, eager to gain convictions on the banking crisis’ old white guys that nearly wrecked our economy from Fall 2007 through Summer 2009.
Wonder who that could be.