MILWAUKEE (WITI) — 42-year-old Fort Lauderdale-area resident Adam Meyer, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Real Money Sports, Inc., has been indicted on federal fraud, racketeering, extortion, and gun charges by a federal grand jury in Milwaukee.
According to the six-count indictment, which was unsealed Tuesday, December 9th, Real Money Sports is a “tout service” through which Meyer advises customers on which teams to bet on in National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, and National Collegiate Athletic Association games. He allegedly sells those picks for fees that sometimes run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
According to the indictment, Meyer promoted Real Money Sports by identifying himself as the “sports consultant to the stars” and by claiming to have an “unheard of win percentage” that was attributable to his employing a team of more than 130 experts, including former professional players and coaches.
Meyer referred some of his tout-service customers to people and entities whom he falsely claimed were third-party bookmakers who could accept bets on sporting events. The purported third-party bookmakers were actually people working on behalf of Meyer.
One of Meyer’s tout service customers, identified in the indictment as “Victim A,” began purchasing picks from Meyer in 2007 and later was referred by Meyer to a party whom Meyer falsely claimed was an independent bookmaker. When Victim A eventually reduced his gambling activity, Meyer told him that they both were in danger. More specifically, Meyer falsely told Victim A that a bookie was threatening Meyer’s life over a large gambling debt. Meyer also falsely claimed that the bookie was holding Victim A and Meyer equally responsible for the debt.
According to the indictment, Meyer falsely told Victim A that a person named “Kent Wong” was attempting to collect the debt. “Kent Wong” actually was an alter-ego created by Meyer. Over the course of several years, Meyer—sometimes posing as Wong—repeatedly called Victim A to demand more money. In response to those demands, which often entailed threats that Victim A’s family would be harmed if he did not pay, Victim A transferred millions of dollars into bank accounts as directed by Meyer, who, in turn, used the money for his own personal purposes.
According to the charges in the indictment, in early 2012, after Victim A had refused to provide him with any further funds, Meyer arranged to meet with Victim A. Meyer set the meeting up under the false pretense that he was going to repay Victim A some portion of the millions of dollars in previous transfers.
According to the indictment, on April 16, 2012, Meyer and an associate flew from Florida to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, for the meeting with Victim A. During the meeting, Meyer’s associate brandished a firearm and demanded that Victim A send Meyer more money to pay off a purported gambling debt. In response to that threat, Victim A agreed to pay Meyer $9.8 million and, over the course of the next week, wired that amount into accounts controlled by Meyer and Meyer’s agents.
In total, between January 2009 and February 2013, Meyer and his associates obtained more than $25 million from Victim A.
Based on the conduct described above, the indictment charges three counts of wire fraud (Counts One through Three), one count of extortion (Count Four), one count of interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise (Count Five), and one count of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence (Count Six). The three wire fraud counts, the extortion count, and the interstate travel in aid of racketeering count each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years of imprisonment, and the gun count carries a maximum term of life imprisonment. Each count also carries a maximum fine of $250,000.
In announcing the unsealing of the indictment, United States Attorney Santelle commented:
“Conduct of the serious type and broad extent described in the indictment is not only violative of federal law prohibiting racketeering, extortion, and other violent behaviors but also trades on the sound, favorable image and positive public association with national sports entities and sporting events. It has been and remains the commitment of the United States Department of Justice to identify, investigate, and prosecute offense conduct of this sort thoroughly, exactingly, and effectively.”
Santelle specifically commended the “outstanding efforts of Assistant United States Attorney James P. Loonam from the Office of United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and the stellar investigative focus and work of the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, and the New York City Police Department in bringing this defendant’s illegal activities to a close.”
Philip R. Bartlett, the Inspector-in-Charge of the New York Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, said:
“Mr. Meyer preyed on his victims with threats and intimidation, extorting funds to support a lavish lifestyle. Postal Inspectors and their law enforcement partners put an end to his racketeering reign of terror.”