A Bookie, Miami Heat Championship Ring, Gold Bars And The Feds

Written By J.R. Duren on July 29, 2021

Clarence “Gary” Austin, a Miami, Florida sports bettor and bookie of offshore wagering Tradewinds, has 99 problems and the federal government is definitely one of them.

Earlier this month, documents filed by the United States of America with a district court in Texas reveal the feds seized millions of dollars worth of currency and property from Austin’s Plantation, Florida, home. The seizure came just a few months after the feds filed a complaint with the court claiming Austin is involved in four federal crimes: transmission of wagering information, running an illegal gambling business, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit these offenses.

In short, the federal government is claiming Austin was involved in a ton of shady dealings. As such, they raided his home and seized a laundry list of rich-guy possessions including a Miami Heat championship ring.

Documents Give Glimpse Into Alleged Hustlers’ Wealth

When Feds descended on the alleged Miami bookie’s home, they likely expected to find a literal wealth of cash and goods that match Austin’s flamboyant lifestyle. And they were right, according to court documents.

The following list was submitted by the feds and signed off by Austin, who agreed the list was accurate:

  • $4,295,154 in U.S. currency
  • 61 gold bars
  • Miami Heat championship ring (year not specified)
  • 2020 Lamborghini Urus Sport
  • 2019 Mercedes Benz GLS
  • 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  • 2020 Porsche Cayenne
  • 2020 Mercedes Benz G63

Deciding which item on this list stands out the most is a futile endeavor. The Lamborghini? Sixty-one gold bars? The championship ring? All of them scream opulence and, according to the feds, all of them scream, “This guy laundered a bunch of money to buy us… allegedly.”

Nobody seems to know where the championship ring came from. The court documents mention nothing of the ring’s provenance and neither do any of the news outlets reporting on the story along with TheLines. The Heat have won three championships, and since there are no set rules for who a franchise gives a ring too, there could be hundreds of people on the team and in the organization who received a ring. While it’s nearly impossible to track down the original owner of the ring, one thing is certain: the federal government has the ring now.

Feds Seize Online Assets, Too

While the seizure was conducted in Autsin’s Plantation home, the feds also seized Austin’s online assets too, including:

  • 10.099 bitcoin (worth about $400,000 at the time of publish)
  • Nearly $2 million in cash from Wells Fargo accounts
  • More than $1.5 million from PNC Bank accounts
  • $2.6 million from a Prudential annuity account
  • More than $1.5 million from two life insurance policies
  • Nearly $500,000 from a TD Ameritrade account

In all, the feds seized more than $13 million in cash, insurance, annuities, and other investments.

Feds Say Austin’s Betting Site Was Illegal

According to a complaint filed in federal court, Austin was illegally operating his Tradewinds sports betting site in the United States. The Miami bookie offered bets for college and professional sports. Austin arranged a 50-50 split on bettors wins and losses. In some cases, his take was as high as 75%, per the complaint.

Austin’s allegedly illegal operation generated $22 million in “illegal proceeds,” the complaint claimed, through an “intricate domestic and international money laundering organization.” Allegedly, Austin funneled that money to a variety of domestic and offshore corporations, trusts and businesses.

The complaint notes that the only legitimate income the Miami bookie had was his monthly Social Security income.

Court Documents

Court Documents (1 of 3)

Court Documents (2 of 3)

Court Documents (3 of 3)

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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has written for a wide variety of publications, both online and print, including Snooth, the Villages Daily Sun, Bespoke Post, Our Amazing Norway, and Barcelona Metropolitan. He has thrice been recognized as a winner of the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism contest.

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