Twin Cities – A Bloomington, Minnesota, man is accused of running an illegal gambling operation that preyed upon North Dakota gamblers for years, and funneling the money back and forth among North Dakota, Minnesota and Costa Rica.
In an indictment filed last year in April and unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Fargo, Gerald J. “Maverick” Greenfield, 68, is charged with one count of conducting a sports betting business, one count of interstate and international wire wagering, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The indictment says Greenfield worked mostly in cash deals with gamblers he took bets from over the phone, email and the Internet in amounts of at least $2,000 a day.
When those amounts owed proved unwieldy to handle in cash — sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars — Greenfield would tell his North Dakota bettors to send the money they owed him through their banks, the indictment says.
He would advise the losing bettors to tell their bank the money was for “investments,” and to have the bank wire the funds to Greenfield’s overseas accounts.
Certified gambling counselor Dawn Cronin, of Lutheran Social Services’ Gambler’s Choice, said her program sees about 75 people a year in the Fargo area for treatment of gambling addiction.
The amounts outlined in the Greenfield indictment aren’t outlandish for someone in our region with a significant gambling problem, Cronin said.
Many of her most-affected clients report that a typical run of gambling will cost them about $2,500 a day in bets.
“Most people, by the time they come to us, have experienced a great deal of financial, emotional loss,” she said.
She said many struggle for six months to a year without knowing how to get help.