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Hudson man convicted in gambling case

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A Hudson man has been convicted of a felony in connection with placing bets on sporting events.

Kevin W. Ritzer, 43, 835 Ross Road, was convicted Nov. 25 on one felony count of receiving a commercial gambling bet. He was sentenced to probation for two years and fined $123. Court records said Ritzer had a federal felony conviction in connection with the same case.

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The criminal complaint said Ritzer told investigators during a March 14, 2006, interview that he had been involved in betting all his life and in the late 1990s he started to book bets on football, basketball, baseball and hockey for up to 40 customers.

Ritzer said that between 2002 and 2004 he made $50,000 a year from his bookmaking but toward the end of 2004 he started to lose money.

Special agents from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation conducted a search warrant on Ritzer's Hudson residence March 15, 2006, according to court records, and seized financial records and book-making documents. Ritzer was not charged with a crime in Wisconsin at the time.

Last March, DCI received information from Minnesota law officers that Ritzer was still engaged in commercial gambling, and special agents executed another search warrant on his residence and collected financial records.

DCI special agents executed search warrants on two Wells Fargo bank accounts owned by Ritzer; one had a balance of $95,890.39 and was seized.

Examination of the financial documents indicated mortgage payments exceeded Ritzer and his wife's income in both 2005 and 2006, and the Wells Fargo accounts were proceeds of gambling, the DCI report said.

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