A 32-year-old man busted for operating illegal gambling facilities in the region plead guilty to two counts of illegal gambling Monday in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas.
Thomas Dean Long operated Lucky You and Lucky You Two until Dec. 2, 2015 when search warrants were served at both locations, as well his on his home in Washington Court House.
As part of his sentencing Long will forfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and a utility trailer to the state.
Long operated two cash-out “games of skill” locations.
Lucky You, the first location, was opened in 2007 at the Jeffersonville Crossing in Jeffersonville by Long’s father, Talmadge Long. The family oversaw the daily operations of the business and the second location, Lucky You Two, later opened on Rombach Avenue in Wilmington. Thomas Dean Long eventually took over ownership of the businesses from his father, Talmadge, according to court records.
Fayette County Prosecutor Jess Weade said that according to Chapter 2915 of the Ohio Revised Code and the regulations of the Ohio Casino Control Commission there are only four casinos in the state of Ohio allowed to operate as cash-in and cash-out businesses, and Long’s gambling facilities were not one of those allowed to operate as cash-in and cash-out.
For each charge of illegal gambling Long faces a one-year prison sentence and a fine of $2,500 for a total maximum sentence exposure of two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
During the plea hearing Monday, Weade said Long has no prior felony convictions that the state is aware of.
“The state’s making a recommendation on community control in this case with no jail time,” said Weade.
According to Steven Beathard, Fayette County Court of Common Pleas Judge, the community control is a mandatory sentence and the state is not recommending jail time.
Beathard will follow the recommendation of the state and said, assuming Long cooperates with the Fayette County Adult Probation Office, he will recommend a maximum one year of supervision.
Long will forfeit more than $400,000 to the state.
According to “Exhibit A” signed by Long and his attorney, Steven Palmer, and in agreement with the state, Long will forfeit $331,502.41 seized in cash as well as the funds contained within eight separate bank accounts.
During Monday’s hearing Weade said Long’s bank accounts were frozen Dec. 2, 2015 when the warrants were served and that the amount of money inside the accounts at the time they were frozen is the amount to be forfeited to the state.
Long’s July 8 indictment listed the forfeiture of 18 bank accounts that contained $345,688.91. According to court records, just eight of those bank accounts will be forfeited as part of the sentencing. Neither the indictment nor “Exhibit A” list the dollar amounts for the eight bank accounts. Weade said he estimates the amount in the eight bank accounts is $139,683.48. Beathard said the total amounts will be released during the sentencing hearing.
The cash forfeiture will be split among the law enforcement agencies involved with the investigation, according to Weade, to include the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Clinton County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
Long stated in court that he is now a resident of Tennessee. He is scheduled to appear for sentencing Dec. 19 in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas.
Reach Ashley at the Record-Herald (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton