A Fairhaven City, Massachusetts City Councillor has been indicted for allegedly running illegal online gambling centers inside of his internet cafes.
The Councillor, Leo Pelletier was indicted along with three others on Thursday. State Attorney General Martha Coakley said that Pelletier is accused of offering customers the right to gamble at his "Leo's Place" internet cafes. He is charged with organizing or promoting gambling services, operating an illegal lottery, allowing lotteries in a building, and the sale and advertising of lottery tickets.
Pelletier's attorney spoke to the Boston Globe, saying: “Our position is that our clients’ Internet cafe business was lawful under existing statues and court decisions. The decision to indict them all is therefore extremely disappointing.”
Earlier in the year authorities raided one of Pelletier's cafes and took computer hard drives, business records and froze related banking accounts valued at $109,000.
Pellitier has served for 28 years as a City Councillor. He gave a phone interview and defended his actions, saying that his company offered a sweepstakes, which redeemed cash prizes for points that customers won by playing games at his cafes. He also believes he is being prosecuted because of his political beliefs.
In the interview Pelletier said: “You want to use me, Martha? All well and good." (while pretending to speak to Coakley) “Is it to enhance your political thing? I don’t know. I don’t know what you’re doing.”