INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A former casino executive has pleaded guilty to making false statements on the casino corporations tax return by concealing contributions to a local political party as deductible business expenses, according to the U.S. Department of Health. Justice.
John Keeler, 72, of Indianapolis, former vice president and general counsel of gaming company New Centaur LLC, paid $41,000 in New Centaur corporate funds to Maryland-based political consultant Kelley Rogers and a entity under its control for the purpose of contributing funds to the Greater Indianapolis Republican Finance Committee for the benefit of the Marion County Republican Central Committee, according to the Justice Department. Keeler then tricked New Centaur into misreporting the political contribution to the IRS as a deductible business expense.
Keeler’s trial was scheduled to begin on Monday. Keeler had been part of a failed effort to bring a casino to Terre Haute.
Last week, former Indiana state senator Brent Waltz pleaded guilty in the case. The Justice Department said Waltz, 48, of Greenwood, funneled $40,500 in illegal contributions to his 2016 congressional campaign. Waltz and Rogers directed corporate funds from New Centaur to the Brent Waltz for Congress campaign through several straw contributors and Waltz himself. Waltz also lied to and misled federal authorities investigating the illegal contributions.
Waltz faces up to 10 years in prison and Keeler faces up to three years in prison. Sentencing dates have not been set, according to a Justice Department press release.