Midlands Arrests in Multi-State Gambling Ring

7:39 PM, Mar 27, 2013   |    comments
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Sumter, SC (WLTX) -- New details emerge in the multi-state gambling ring that landed nine South Carolinians behind bars.

Federal investigators say it involved millions of dollars - and included high profile people. The Lieutenant Governor of Florida stepped down after questions about her possible connections.

Florida Investigators say the gambling ring stretched into our state - and involved money laundering. Several accounts were seized in Sumter and Manning which investigators say were tied to illegal gambling.

Across several states, hundreds of computers and boxes of information was seized, and investigators continue to go through that data. It led to dozens of internet cafes to be shutdown, including a place here in Sumter that investigators say was tied to the ring.

At the time of the raid in Sumter, the South Carolina Law Enforcement division seized 72 computers and ten thousand dollars cash from the business called the Palmetto Internet Center. Court Documents allege the two people arrested in Sumter are tied to the $300 million dollar Florida Gambling ring.

The Palmetto Internet Center is located in a strip mall on Broad Street in Sumter. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division says Eric Jayroe and Janice Ryles were running it. 

Court Documents state customers could use the center to purchase internet time, and would be given credits to bet on an assortment of thirty different casino-themed video games, including poker and keno. When customers "win" they accumulate more credits which they may use to redeem for cash.

On July of last year year the Sumter Sheriff's Department and SLED executed a search warrant that they say turned up a laptop computer, linking the business and its bank accounts to the Florida-based nonprofit corporation known as Allied Veterans of the World.

An IRS search warrant says the Florida fund-raising corporation centers were nothing more than Internet casinos that made hundred of millions of dollars. Court Documents allege the Palmetto Internet Center in Sumter transferred upwards of four million dollars to various bank accounts connected to the nonprofit.

Court Documents link Janice Ryles husband Michael Ryles to that organization. Before his arrest, Ryles was living in a five bedroom home in Florida that sold for 540 thousand dollars in 2010.

The criminal case, linking nine south carolinians to the gambling ring in Florida is still pending. SLED and the South Carolina Attorney General's office is working to assist the Florida-based investigation.

Last October, a Sumter magistrate judge ruled the machines at the sweepstakes cafe in Sumter are in violation of South Carolina law and ordered them to be destroyed.

Seth Land, the attorney representing Janice Ryles tells News19 they are appealing that decision to a circuit court.










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