Adam Meyer, a nationally known sports betting tout, was arrested Tuesday on charges he used fraud and threats to scam $25 million from a Fond du Lac-area man, according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday.
In a single week in April 2012, the man wired $9.8 million to accounts controlled by Meyer or his agents, the indictment charges. The money was wired after a Meyer associate demanded the money at gunpoint, the indictment states.
Brian H. Bieber, Meyer's attorney, said that when the "full set of facts and circumstances...come to light" they will show that the "facts as stated in the indictment are not completely accurate."
Meyer, 42, who bills himself as the "sports consultant to the stars," was arrested in his south Florida home on charges of wire fraud, extortion, racketeering and brandishing a firearm, according to the six-count indictment issued in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The indictment was issued last week after an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
In addition to selling tips on who will win professional and college sporting events — a service that is legal — the indictment charges that Meyer referred some customers to offshore bookmakers to take bets. Although he told clients the bookies were "third-parties," the indictment charges that "the purported third-party bookmakers were actually associates of Meyer's and were working on his behalf."
As a sports tout, Meyer charges up to $250,000 to provide gamblers with his predictions on the outcome of major college and professional sports including football, basketball and baseball, the indictment states. Meyer owns Real Money Sports Inc. and claims to employ more than 130 sports experts, including ex-players, and have a 60% winning percentage. He reportedly won more than $1 million on the Green Bay Packers during its Super Bowl XLV season.
His Adamwins.com website brags that "Adam is box office money, and the heavy hitters know it. His client list reads like the front page of Variety."
The indictment is not Meyer's first run-in with federal law enforcement. In 1996, he was sentenced to three months in federal prison followed by 12 months of probation after he was charged with extortion, racketeering and threats, according to online federal court records. He was indicted and convicted in Louisiana. No additional information was available Tuesday.
The most recent indictment charges that a Fond du Lac-area man began buying betting tips from Meyer in 2007 and that Meyer referred his client to bookmakers to take wagers. Meyer "falsely represented" that he was not connected to the bookies.
In 2008, the indictment said, Meyer told his client — identified only as "Victim A" — to send $1.2 million to accounts controlled by Meyer. Those funds later were seized by local law enforcement agencies in Florida, the indictment said.
Later, after Victim A cut back on his gambling, Meyer claimed his own life was at risk because he owed big money to a bookie. Meyer said a man named "Kent Wong" was demanding payment, the indictment said. Kent Wong actually was an alter ego created by Meyer.
"Meyer also falsely told Victim A that the bookie believed Meyer and Victim A were gambling partners and that the bookie was holding Victim A equally responsible for the debt," the indictment charged. Sometimes, the indictment charged, Meyer identified himself as Kent Wong when he called Victim A demanding money.
Victim A responded by sending millions of dollars to various bank accounts, the indictment said, noting that "Meyer, in turn, used the funds for his own purposes."
When Victim A balked at sending more money, Meyer and an associate flew to Fond du Lac from Florida to meet with Victim A in April 2012.
"During the meeting, Meyer's associate brandished a firearm and demanded Victim A send Meyer more money to pay off a purported gambling debt," the indictment said. "In response to that threat, Victim A agreed to provide $9.8 million to Meyer."
Meyer was arrested at his Fort Lauderdale-area home early Tuesday. After complaining of chest pains he was taken to a hospital and then released to the custody of federal agents. He is being held by federal authorities in Florida and is scheduled to appear at a hearing Friday.
Bieber, Meyer's attorney, said prosecutors will ask that Meyer remain in custody until trial although he thinks a personal recognizance bond is appropriate. Bieber said he expected the court to require that, to be released, Meyer post a monetary bond.