Defense wants charity gambling case to be tossed

October 1, 2013 - 10:35 AM

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — Attorneys for a Florida lawyer have asked a judge to throw out charges alleging that the attorney helped build a $300 million gambling operation.

Kelly Mathis' attorneys asked Judge Kenneth Lester to toss the case on Tuesday, claiming prosecutors failed to prove the Jacksonville lawyer is guilty of any crime.

They say Mathis never controlled, owned or managed any of the dozens of Allied Veterans Internet cafes in Florida. They say that, even if he did, the centers were offering sweepstakes, not gambling.

Defense attorneys also said Mathis was acting only as an attorney, giving legal advice.

The arrest of Mathis and 56 other people in March prompted the Florida Legislature to ban Internet cafes and led to the resignation of former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, who had worked as a consultant for Allied Veterans.