LISA J. HURIASH, 21 July 2021
Federal agents raided the home of a internationally known sports gambler in Plantation, seizing almost $4.3 million in cash, 61 gold bars, five luxury cars and a Miami Heat championship ring, according to federal court documents.
No criminal charges have been filed in the case of Clarence “Gary” Austin, the former husband of Costa Rican supermodel Lynda Diaz.
According to documents filed in federal court, “Austin’s illegal Internet gambling enterprise has produced in excess of $34 million in illegal proceeds during its operation.”
In fact, they argue, all of his money comes from illegal activity: “Austin has no legitimate income except a monthly Social Security check he receives.”
Austin’s attorney, Howard Schumacher, said Wednesday that it is “too early to say at this point” if charges are imminent and it is premature to comment about the case, which is being pursued in Texas federal court.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not respond to a call or email for comment. The federal prosecutor on the case did not respond for comment.
Prosecutors allege Austin is the owner and operator of the Costa Rica-based sportsbook wagering website Tradewinds, which they say Austin has operated illegally on the internet since 1998.
“The investigation disclosed that Austin has established an intricate domestic and international money laundering organization and methods to surreptitiously conduct monetary transactions with the bookmakers and bettors located in the U.S. in order to ultimately receive and utilize the illicit earnings,” an investigator wrote.