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Country Music Promoter Ronnie Gilley Faces Federal Bribery Charges
Alabama-based businessman Ronnie Gilley has been indicted with 11 others, including four Alabama state senators, on federal charges accusing them of illegal activities aimed at getting a bill passed to legalize electronic bingo in the state. Ronnie Gilley Properties, located in Enterprise, Ala., operates several businesses, including Ronnie Gilley Entertainment which oversees Country Crossing Records and produces the annual Verizon Wireless BamaJam Music and Arts Festival in Enterprise. Gilley's company also developed Country Crossing, a themed development near Dothan, Ala., that includes a bingo pavilion, a bed and breakfast named for George Jones and restaurants named for John Anderson, Darryl Worley and Lorrie Morgan. According to the Country Crossing website, the complex closed its doors in January "to prevent the governor's task force from executing an illegal raid on the establishment." Alabama Gov. Bob Riley has been an outspoken opponent of organized gambling in the state. The U.S. Justice Department indictment alleges that Gilley and others conspired to bribe Alabama state legislators and staff to gain their support for pro-gambling legislation. Gilley, 45, is charged with one count of conspiracy, six counts of federal program bribery, 11 counts of honest services mail and wire fraud and four counts of money laundering. An indictment is an allegation, and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
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