A husband and wife involved in illegal gambling operations face up to 10 years behind bars. The Ohio couple pleaded guilty on July 14 to conspiracy to defraud the IRS.
Jason and Rebecca Kachner of Canton ran two illegal gambling rooms, The Skilled Shamrock and Redemption Skill Games 777. From 2010 to 2018, the Kachners filed false tax claims, omitting most of the income from the gambling operations.
There are currently four legal Ohio casinos, plus the state also has seven racinos. The Kachner’s operation was not affiliated with one of those properties.
Defendant hid money in storage locker
From 2009 to 2018, the Kachners earned $2.3 million in income from the two gambling rooms. The vast majority of this income went unreported.
Rebecca also admitted to renting a storage locker to hide cash. In her plea agreement, she forfeited $241,000 in cash investigators found in the locker.
Rebecca pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS. Jason pleaded guilty to two counts. Each count carries a prison sentence of up to five years.
The Kachners also face monitored release and monetary penalties. Sentencing will take place at a later date.
Co-conspirator facing 50 years in prison
From 2009 to 2016, Christos Karasarides conspired with the Kachners in tax fraud, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
He allegedly concealed $1.4 million in tax revenue from 2009-2013. Most of that amount came from taxes from the illegal gambling rooms. The DOJ claims Ronald DiPietro, a certified public accountant, was also part of the conspiracy.
Karasarides allegedly spent extravagantly on cars, real estate and country club dues. He also paid off the credit card debt of various family members, according to the DOJ.
During the investigation of the Kachners, Karasarides allegedly tampered with a witness appearing before the grand jury.
He also faces charges of falsified promissory notes created to authenticate loans. To accomplish this, he allegedly had business associates and his own son fraudulently sign them, the DOJ says. When one of his business associates was subpoenaed to testify to signing the notes, Karasarides allegedly urged him to lie and say the loans were legitimate.
On top of five charges of conspiracy to defraud the IRS, Karasarides is facing other charges. They include money laundering, tax evasion and filing false tax returns. He’s looking at more than 50 years in prison.
DiPietro also faces charges for helping the Kachners conceal their earnings through false tax returns for the years 2013-2017. He faces a minimum of eight years in prison.
Ohio vows to pursue illegal gambling operations
When the Shamrock, Redemption Skill Games 777 and two other illegal gaming facilities were raided in 2021, Matthew Schuler of the Ohio Casino Control Commission said the commission will continue to hunt down illegal gambling operations in Ohio.
“The operators of these illegal casinos took advantage of their community to line their own pockets in blatant disregard of the law. The commission is tasked with ensuring gaming in Ohio is conducted honestly and with integrity, and we will continue to take action against those who violate Ohio’s gaming laws.”