BEAUMONT, Texas — The owners of Daylight Motors of Beaumont, Texas, have pleaded guilty to bookmaking, money laundering, and tax evasion charges stemming from an investigation led by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Internal Revenue Service.
Larry Tillery, his wife, Judy Kay Tillery, and their son, Brian Tillery, face sentences ranging from five to 10 years in prison for their roles in a sophisticated gambling enterprise that authorities say the family operated from 1985 to 2017. The Tillerys used Daylight Motors and its holding company, Lamar Capital, as a “front to launder illicit proceeds from an illegal gambling enterprise,” according to a DOJ statement.
In addition to prison time, the Tillerys have agreed to forfeit a total of more than $35 million in judgments, cash, properties, watches, jewelry, and sports memorabilia. The settlement follows an April 2017 raid of the dealership and the seizure of nine commercial and residential properties in Texas and Arizona a month later.
The family’s liabilities were calculated in part based on federal tax guidelines. Bookmakers are technically required to register as such with the IRS and pay a 2% gross wagering excise tax on a monthly basis — whether or not gambling is permitted in their state.
The DOJ’s statement said the Tillerys accepted at least $52 million worth of wagers between 2011 and 2016 alone, racking up a tax bill of $1,040,000.
“The Tillerys ignored state and federal gambling laws, and profited tremendously from a criminal enterprise,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown. “We intend to collect every bit of the money judgment that will be issued against them, and we expect Larry Tillery’s prison sentence to send a message to those who profit from illegal bookmaking.”