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Billy Walters discusses my role in The Computer Group caper in his new book, “Gambler”

Dan E. Moldea, Mobology

In Billy Walters’ just-released, best-selling book—Gambler:  Secrets from a Life at Risk (with Armen Keteyian, Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster)—one of the centerpieces of this fascinating work is his involvement with “The Computer Group,” a remarkably successful, even history-making, sports-gambling operation that wreaked havoc on the legal and illegal gambling communities during the 1980s.

     The Computer Group was the target of a major FBI investigation—until it wasn’t.

     In my 1989 work—Interference:  How Organized Crime Influences Professional Football (Morrow)—the on-then off-then on again federal investigation of The Computer Group was one of the targets of my book in which I had alleged that no fewer than 50 legitimate investigations of corruption associated with the NFL were either suppressed or flat-out killed.

     In the “everything old is new again” category, there is already much discussion in the legal and illegal gambling communities about Walters’ new take on this old case. 

     Here is what Billy Walters wrote about me and my role:

     Life could not have been sweeter, until August of 1989 when an investigative book called Interference stirred the pot in our gambling game.

     Author Dan Moldea reprised the story of the Computer Group investigation and inferred that no one was indicted because Merv Adelson, the head of Lorimar-Telepictures, was involved with the Group. Adelson’s then-wife was television star Barbara Walters, who happened to be best friends with Nancy Reagan, the wife of President Ronald Reagan, a connection that was questioned but never reported by Moldea due to a lack of documented evidence.

     That said, a Justice Department source cited in the book told Moldea: “The problem is that the Justice Department knows it’s an organized-crime operation, with some embarrassing links to major celebrities in the worlds of sports, politics, and entertainment. This whole investigation has been stalled for political reasons.” That inference did not sit well with certain folks in the Justice Department and strike force.

     Six months later, the FBI came calling yet again on the morning of January 5, 1990—just two weeks before the five-year statute of limitations on the Computer Group case was set to expire. I was sleeping off an all-night poker game when a swarm of agents came barreling in at eight in the morning. . . . 

Those of us who were charged faced a total of 120 counts of alleged conspiracy, violations of the Interstate Transmission of Wagering Information, and Use of Interstate Facilities in Aid of Racketeering.

     Because of the sudden resurrection of this controversy, I am going to sit back and watch how all of this shakes out during the coming weeks. 

     I will note that I conducted an exclusive interview for my book with Dr. Ivan Mindlin, the mastermind and founder of The Computer Group, and that I was subpoenaed and deposed under oath during the group’s civil case in 1990 while federal prosecutors prepared for their ill-fated RICO trial.

     Also, my book, Interference, was targeted by the FBI’s notorious Book Review Section because of this and other cases in my book in which I had alleged that federal investigations were suppressed or killed.

    Meantime, here is my last MOBOLOGY post of August 20Legalized Gambling Will Destroy College and Professional Sports”—in which I interviewed the top oddsmakers and bookmakers in the country for my book while The Computer Group was driving the gambling community crazy.

     Shortly, I will release my latest archive contribution—”Moldea v. New York Times:  A David and Goliath proxy fight after David published allegations about the NFL and the Mafia.”  The FBI investigation of Interference and my law-enforcement sources, which became an issue in my litigation against the Times, is discussed.

     Stay tuned.

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