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UPDATE: Green Co. Man Sentenced in Gambling Case

By: Chris Woodard Email
By: Chris Woodard Email

UPDATED Wednesday, January 30, 2013 --- 2:02 p.m.

Release from the Attorney General:

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has announced that on January 30, 2013, Jeffrey Conway was sentenced in Green County for his part in an illegal bookmaking operation. Mr. Conway entered a plea to two counts relating to the taking of bets on sporting events during the 2006 and 2007 football seasons, and the 2006 and 2007 NCAA basketball tournaments.

The court withheld sentence on both counts and placed him on probation for a period of 18 months. Conditions of probation included the payment of costs and supervision fees, and no gambling activity. The defendant also is to obtain and maintain full-time employment, compliance with all rules of supervision, and the defendant is to submit a DNA sample and pay the surcharge. In addition, on Count 6, the court imposed a fine of $10,000 plus the applicable costs and penalty assessments.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Richard J. Dufour. The Monroe Police Department and the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) at the Department of Justice investigated the offense.

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UPDATED Wednesday, November 14, 2012 --- 12:16 p.m.

Release from the Attorney General:

Jeffrey Conway Enters Plea to Gambling Charges
Sentencing in Green County is set for January 30, 2013.

MADISON — On November 14, 2012, Jeffrey Conway entered pleas to two counts involving commercial gambling in Green County Circuit Court. He entered a plea to one count of Commercial Gambling – Taking a Bet, and one count of Using a Wire Communication to Facilitate Sports Betting, both as a party to the crime.

The investigation began when a co-defendant, Werner Rast (who was sentenced on October 4, 2012), was arrested for a domestic incident. The gambling charges covered a several year period, and involved taking bets on college and professional football and NCAA tournament basketball. Mr. Conway is the owner of Old Smokey’s Tavern in Monroe. The tavern was used to pick up winnings and pay off losses in the gambling operation.

Sentencing was set for January 30, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. A presentence investigation was ordered. Mr. Conway faces a maximum penalty of 3 ½ years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine on each count.

The state is represented by Assistant Attorney General Richard J. Dufour, who is acting a special prosecutor for Green County. The case was investigated by the Monroe Police Department and the Department of Justice -- Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI).

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UPDATED: Thursday, October 4, 2012 --- 3:20p.m.

Release from Attorney General:

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has announced that on October 4, 2012, Werner Rast was sentenced in Green County for his part in an illegal bookmaking operation. Mr. Rast entered a plea to ten counts relating to the taking of bets on sporting events during the 2005, 2006, and 2007 football seasons and the 2006 and 2007 NCAA basketball tournaments.

The court withheld sentence on all ten counts and placed him on probation for a period of 18 months on all ten counts. Conditions of probation included the payment of costs and supervision fees, an AODA assessment and follow-up treatment as needed, not to consume any alcohol or drugs for which he did not have a prescription, participation in cognitive intervention counseling, no gambling activity, and the defendant is to obtain and maintain full-time employment. The defendant also is to submit a DNA sample. In addition, on Count 1, the court imposed a fine of $10,000 plus the applicable costs and penalty assessments.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Richard J. Dufour. The Monroe Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Justice -- Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) investigated the offense.

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UPDATED Thursday, May 10, 2012 --- 11:00 a.m.

Press Release from the Office of the Attorney General:

MADISON — On May 9, 2012, a preliminary hearing was held in the case of State of Wisconsin v. Jeffrey Conway in Green County Circuit Court before the Hon. James Beer. The Court found that probable cause existed to believe that Mr. Conway committed felonies and bound him over for trial. An arraignment is scheduled for May 21, 2012, at 2:00 p.m.

According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Conway was a party to the crime of taking bets on sporting events, including College and Professional Football and NCAA Tournament Basketball, over a two-year period. The Monroe Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) conducted the investigation. The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Richard J. Dufour.

While Jeffrey Conway has been charged with a criminal offense, he is presumed innocent and the state must prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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UPDATED: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 --- 5:20 p.m.

Police say they've exposed a gambling ring and it has lead to the arrest of a Monroe bar owner.

He's charged with bringing in big money as part of the betting operation.

This arrest comes as the result of a 5 year investigation.

Inside Old Smokey's bar police say they were bringing in a lot more cash than you might expect for selling drinks.

Monroe Police Chief Fred Kelley says, "The size of what we were seeing was something that surprised us."

The owner, 52-year-old Jeffrey Conway, has been arrested and charged with 8 felonies.

Kelley says, "If you look at that kind of money across here, it's not the 20 dollar football pool or the dollar that you (pay to) enter. These people are betting hundreds of dollars at once and sometimes thousands of dollars."

According to a criminal complaint at least 10 different people told investigators they placed bets with Conway or his partner on college football and basketball games and NFL football games.

They say they often paid up on losses by bringing envelopes full of money to the bar or collected winnings at the bar.

Investigators say in gambling records they seized many people were identified by nicknames like "Yogi" or "Thunder."

Kelley says, "It's not just some small football pool that you might have at your workplace or whatever. This involved a lot of money."

Police started their investigation all the way back in 2007.

While responding to a domestic violence call they found evidence of a gambling ring at the home of 50-year-old Werner Rast.

He was arrested but the investigation continued and led police to Conway.

The bar is all quiet today. But by all accounts Conway is a well known guy who is very involved in the community.

Kelley says, "It's a decent business."

It's also a business police say provided cover for the kind of gambling operation that surprised even them.

All of the felonies Conway has been charged with took place in either 2006 or 2007.

The people interviewed in the complaint all say their bets stopped in 2007 when Rast was arrested.

This afternoon Conway was released from jail on a 10-thousand dollar signature bond.

His next court appearance is scheduled for May.
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Posted Wednesday, April 4, 2012 --- 4:55 p.m.

Press Release from the Wisconsin Attorney General's Office:

MADISON — On April 3, 2012, Jeffrey Conway, of Monroe, was arrested on a bench warrant for eight counts of commercial gambling. The complaint alleges that Jeffrey Conway, along with another individual who was previously charged, was involved in a commercial gambling operation involving betting on football and NCAA Tournament Basketball games in 2006 and 2007. The defendant, along with his co-defendant, Werner Rast, are alleged to have taken bets on the games and used a wire communication (phone) to effectuate the gambling operation.

Mr. Conway was arrested and had a bond hearing and initial appearance on April 4, 2012, in the circuit court for Green County. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 9, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. before the Hon. James Beer, Circuit Court Judge for Green County.

Mr. Conway is presumed innocent and the state will need to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The Monroe Police Department and the Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation investigated this matter. The State is represented by Assistant Attorney General Richard J. Dufour.


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