An Oklahoma technology company owner who is caught up in a massive investigation into illegal gambling in Florida has been a key player in North Carolinas elusive video sweepstakes games, and has been a generous political contributor.
Chase Egan Burns, 37, faces charges in Florida that include racketeering and conspiracy, according to The Associated Press. Burns was arrested Tuesday. Court documents say Burns claimed money put into his gambling machines would be donated to the charity Allied Veterans, but the group received less than 1 percent of the proceeds, The AP reported.
Prosecutors say they think Burns earned more than $290 million on the gaming software.
Burns is the owner of International Internet Technologies, which reportedly has more than 100 licensees in North Carolina that employ about 1,100 people. Burns has made $154,000 in campaign contributions in recent years to N.C. political candidates of both parties, and to the state Republican Party.
His company has been fighting in North Carolina courts to stop the state from enforcing its ban on Internet sweepstakes operations, and is part of an effort to make the machines legal and subject to state taxes.
The illegal gambling investigation in Florida has led to the arrests of 57 people, and on Wednesday prompted the resignation of that states lieutenant governor, Jennifer Carroll.
A spokesman for Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday said Carroll had been questioned by law enforcement officers about her work with Allied Veterans, according to the Los Angeles Times. Carroll consulted for Allied Veterans while she was in the Florida House of Representatives in 2009 and 2010, the Times reported.