Texas Man Charged with Money Laundering on His Casino Winnings

Texas Money Laundering Charges Casino Winnings

Marquis Overton claimed he had casino winnings from several states, as well as sports betting and craps winnings.

On August 22, Marquis Overton was charged with money laundering after he was stopped by a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper, who found him carrying $90,000 in cash in his Dodge Challenger.

Overton told the trooper he had won the money gambling in several states, but could not produce documentation of the wins.

The Texas state trooper found the story of Marquis Overton, a 27-year old man from Temple, to be unbelievable. The fact the suspect changed his story several times did not help.

At first, Overton said he has about $40,000 of cash in the car and he had won the money gambling. Later, the Temple man said he had between $50,000 and $60,000 in cash which he had won in several states, including Texas.

Overton’s Story Changed

Still later, Marquis Overton amended his story a third time, claiming he won $70,000 from casinos in several states. The man added he also won $17,000 betting on sports with a bookie in the Rockdale area. Marquis Overton also noted he liked to shoot craps in the Austin, Texas area.

The DPS report did not say where Overton was stopped. It did mention that the trooper smelled marijuana when the car’s window was opened. The trooper found two baggies of marijuana. Besides the money laundering charge – a third degree felony which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison – Overton was charged with marijuana possession.

No Documentation of Casino Winnings

Investigators found no documentation or evidence that Marquis Overton had winnings from casinos in nearby states. Further investigation showed that Overton has not held down a job in over 2 years, according to documents filed by investigators.

The problem with the Overton’s story is it is illegal to gamble on dice or sports in the state of Texas. Though Overton said he won the money in several states, he also mentioned he had winnings from Texas. That gambling would have been illegal, if the trooper believed the story at all.

The trooper arrested Marquis Overton and booked him into Williamson County Jail. He was released on bail after posting a $17,000 bond.

Why Charge Overton with Money Laundering?

When law enforcement sees a person carrying large amounts of cash without evidence of a high-paying job or proof that they collected that money legally (through an out-of-state casino, for instance), the authorities immediately grow suspicious. It looks like the person is engaged in some manner of illegal activity.

The law enforcement agency might not be able to prove that a person is engaged in organized crime or drug smuggling, but they suspect he or she is. In that circumstance, they charge the person with money laundering, because it is crime which often goes hand-in-hand with racketeering of some sort.

How Money Laundering Works

Money laundering is when a person tries to hide dirty money by moving that money through legitimate or semi-legimiate businesses. Casinos are considered a good way to launder money, because so much cash exchanges hands. Once the money is wagered — especially if it is exchanged for chips then later those chips are cashed in for more money — then the money is considered harder to track by authorities (thus “clean”).

The fact the $90,000 was hidden in several different places throughout the vehicle was another suspicious factor. In cases that no other crime can be found, it is hard to prove the money is being laundered. The charges are a good way to book a person, while the officers investigate.

While nothing might ever become of Marquis Overton’s arrest, his case is instructive to those who would carry around large amounts of cash without documentation. Also, if one is going to use an alibi, it might be best that the abili involves legal activities instead of otherwise.