Fired Keeneland worker is charged with stealing $786,080 from track's ATMs

vhoneycutt@herald-leader.comApril 11, 2013 

A Richmond man has been charged in a 12-count federal indictment alleging that he kept $786,080 in cash that was supposed to go into cash machines at Keeneland racetrack.

The indictment, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Lexington, charges Larry Wilson with four counts of wire fraud, four counts of filing false income tax returns, three counts of money laundering and one count of committing wire fraud as part of money laundering. The alleged offenses date from 2007 to 2010, according to the indictment.

Keeneland spokeswoman Julie Balog said Thursday that she couldn't comment because of the pending legal action.

Jimmy Dale Williams, an attorney who said he had previously represented Wilson, said Thursday he was not aware of the indictment.

Keeneland fired Wilson nearly four years ago, in May 2009.

Wilson was responsible for servicing and maintaining 18 automated teller machines at Keeneland. That included transferring money from a vault as necessary to fill the ATMs. He had previously worked as director of security for a vendor that provided ATM services to Keeneland. He was hired by the track in 2006 when the racetrack began operating its own machines.

Law enforcement authorities have been investigating the case since 2009. Keeneland representatives have said in court records that Wilson was the only person who had access to the money in the machines. Wilson told the Herald-Leader in a 2010 interview that he was watched at all times and that at least two other people had access.

"I never took one dime from Keeneland," Wilson said in the 2010 interview with the Herald-Leader. "Here I am. You think I did it? Come and get me. Arrest me."

The indictment said Wilson began servicing Keeneland's ATMs in July 2006.

Wilson's duties included ensuring that the ATMs contained sufficient funds by periodically loading each ATM with $20 bills and conducting routine maintenance, the indictment said. Before 2006, Wilson was employed by a vendor that serviced the machines, according to Herald-Leader archives.

Keeneland operated a cash room to provide money for its business activities, and during his employment, Wilson made cash requests to get money for the ATMs, the indictment said.

The indictment said Wilson inflated his requests for cash and received more money than what was needed to stock the ATMs. He then converted the extra cash for his personal use, the indictment said.

The indictment said Wilson made false statements about his income on his tax returns.

If convicted, Wilson could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

The Herald-Leader reported in 2010 that Wilson sued Keeneland and the Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Commission for denial of benefits. A Fayette Circuit Court judge has affirmed the denial, a court clerk said.

Federal Insurance Co., which provided insurance coverage to Keeneland, filed a lawsuit against Wilson to recover money that Federal paid to the track for its loss. The lawsuit also seeks interest, costs and attorney fees, according to the 2010 article. That case is pending, the clerk said.

Wilson is scheduled to appear May 2 in U.S. District Court in Lexington.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409. Twitter: @vhspears.

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