Tennessee Action 24/7 is asking a court to undo a first-in-the-nation decision by the state Lottery to suspend its sportsbook license due to fraud and money laundering, the Associated Press reports.
Action 24/7, which is run by executives of short-term lender Advance Financial, is questioning the regulatory process used to issue the suspension.
According to Lottery investigator Danny DiRienzo, the company self-reported suspicious activity on March 17, which was several days after the alleged fraud took place. In one instance, he said, a player made a $10 deposit into his betting account, which was then followed by 124 deposits with seven cards in as many different names. The account holder then withdrew money without placing many bets.
An item included in Tennessee Action 24/7’s lawsuit: someone during the TN Lottery’s meeting said “I think it’s time to go get drunk.” pic.twitter.com/I8PEavw9Ep
— Jonathan Mattise (@JonathanMattise) March 23, 2021
“It is serious, serious criminal activity, probably in the tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damages done with multiple real individuals and business victims,” DiRienzo said during an emergency meeting of the Lottery board on Friday.
According to the the lawsuit, company representatives wanted to be heard during the meeting, but the panel “refused to hear their position.”
The lottery’s actions were “an inadequate or sometimes complete lack of review of the evidence, an unwillingness to hear Action’s side of the story, and a rush to judgment, ultimately resulting in a destruction of Action’s business,” according to the lawsuit.
Tennessee Action said the total number of fraudulent deposits totaled about $37,400, of $14,700 has been recovered.