FBI raids ADF Bingo

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

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FBI agents raided ADF Bingo in Mechanicsville on Friday, almost 10 months after St. Mary's lawmen seized electronic gambling machines from the business to assist an ongoing federal investigation.

A lawyer representing the business' proprietor reiterated Tuesday that she has not been charged with any wrongdoing, and that no action has been taken to close the business.

The initial raid by St. Mary's detectives at the business last May was carried out after they filed an affidavit alleging conflicting accounts of who was getting the proceeds from the machines. The county sheriff testified, at a court hearing that month on another business' gambling machines, that the raid at ADF Bingo concerned its financial bookkeeping.

Detectives reported after that raid that they were working in conjunction with FBI agents in Annapolis, and St. Mary's State's Attorney Richard Fritz later described the matter as ‘‘a federal investigation."

Federal authorities would say little about Friday's visit to ADF Bingo.

"I'm going to confirm for you that we were there," FBI spokesman Richard Wolf said this week.

Last year's raid by St. Mary's detectives rounded up 64 electronic gambling machines and some ledgers at Sharon L. Modlin's business, court papers state. Her lawyer, Thomas McManus, said the federal lawmen who went there Friday seized "the same kind of machines and books."

McManus added, "She has not been charged, and she continues to say she didn't do anything wrong. No one's ever told her that she's done anything wrong, and no one's told her to shut down. It's frustrating for her."

McManus said that he did not know how many machines were seized Friday, but that Modlin does not own them, just as she was not the owner of the machines seized last year.

Modlin told police last winter that half of the proceeds from the machines in her business went to Diamond Games and the other half went to St. Mary's Hospital, and she later said all the proceeds from the machines were going to the hospital, according to the affidavit used to obtain last year's search warrant. She told the investigators that none of the proceeds were going to a vendor that she identified as Atlantic Bingo in Odenton.

The hospital auxiliary's treasurer told police that it only received proceeds from traditional bingo games held at the business, the affidavit states.

McManus said last summer that the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant included "glaring factual errors" and that Modlin faithfully has abided by an agreement with the hospital's auxiliary, as evidenced by a "donor of the year" award that the hospital presented to her that year.