Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

November 20, 2010

Link's Owner Arrested For Illegal Gambling At Bar

Greensburg — Multiple silver SUVs bearing government license plates descended upon the city on Friday, putting an end to an alleged gambling operation at Link's Restaurant and Bar.

A months-long investigation by the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) culminated in the arrest of the bar's owner, Fred G. Eddelman, 48, 1908 Hessler Blvd., Greensburg. Eddelman was booked into Decatur County Jail on three counts of promoting professional gambling, Class D felonies and one count of corrupt business influence, a Class C felony, in Decatur County in addition to professional gambling charges in Henry County. He appeared in court and was advised of his charges and rights. After entering a plea of not guilty, bond was set in the amount of $500, cash only.

According to a news release from the IGC, search warrants were executed on Friday at both his residence and Link's after an investigation spanning the months of September, October and November. Each month represents one count of promoting professional gambling. In each month, the charging information states, Eddelman allegedly offered betting odds, took bets and settled bets at Link's, making a total of nine wagers with an IGC agent. The charge of corrupt business influence represents allegedly receiving the proceeds of a pattern of racketeering activity and investing those proceeds to establish or operate an enterprise, in this case the gambling circle. The charging information notes on nine different occasions Eddleman took and settled gambling bets with an IGC agent.

The investigation began after multiple complaints had been made in regards to illegal gambling activity at Link's, alleging illegal pull tabs, punchboards, number lotteries and sports bookmaking. Agents made their first visit to the bar on Tuesday, July 20, noting that chalkboards indicated winnings without a cause for the prize. Continued visits were made, and on Aug. 31, an agent inquired about the point spread on the Purdue/Notre Dame game.

ÒEddelman immediately stated the point spread and over/under total for the game,Ó the probable cause affidavit states.

It continues by noting that only individuals involved in sports betting would immediately know the point spread, known as the Òline.Ó On Sept. 10, the agents learned of betting sheets on which parlay bets were taken, and an agent placed his first bet. On Sept. 17, the same agent placed a wager by telephone from New Castle, located in Henry County. Charges in Henry County are based on such calls.

The agent placed other bets, both in person at Link's and over the phone to Eddelman, the affidavit states. Investigators documented that calls were taken both at Link's and at Eddelman's home, creating a basis for search warrants at both locations as well as the arrest warrant for Eddelman.

Decatur County Prosecutor Bill O. Smith explained that no local agencies were involved in the investigation. However, evidence was provided to his office, and he filed the charges. Smith has removed himself as the prosecutor for this case, and a special prosecutor was assigned in Henry County, where Henry County Prosecutor Kit Cane accepted the appointment. Eddelman's trial is scheduled for March 3, 2011 in Henry County. If convicted, he could face up to eight years in prison.

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