Adam Meyer, the Florida betting tout facing federal extortion charges in Wisconsin, has been snitching for at least a dozen law enforcement agencies and helped the FBI seize $750million from offshore bookies, his former lawyer claimed in federal court documents unsealed Tuesday.
“Faced with a possible indictment in approximately 2001, Meyer began a 13-year odyssey as a documented and valuable informant for federal and state law enforcement,” according to a motion written in March by Joel Hirschhorn, Meyer’s former attorney.
Hirschhorn claimed that Meyer’s work “resulted in the arrest of at least 30 individuals,” including two members of organized crime families and the dismissal of a Secret Service agent and a U.S. Treasury Department employee.
Hirschhorn’s motions were filed under seal in March to support Meyer’s since-abandoned plans to use insanity and public authority defenses to fight charges that he extorted $25 million from Gary Sadoff, a former Meyer client and the owner of Badger Liquor in Fond du Lac. The public authority defense is a seldom used strategy where a defendant argues he violated the law at the direction of police — such as when an informant makes a drug buy.
While the motion did not provide details about exactly what Meyer did to help police agencies, it listed a dozen agencies — including the FBI, IRS, Secret Service and the New York City Police’s Organized Crime Unit — among those whom Meyer helped. It also said he had been “controlled/supervised/handled” by 42 law enforcement agents.
The documents also reveal that a sealed motion filed in a different federal case seeks a sentence reduction for Meyer, 43, in return for his helping law enforcement. That motion has been pending in federal court since 2009.
Two sources said that in that case Meyer was convicted of running a federal fraud scheme involving bogus cashiers checks that were presented to tribal casinos in Connecticut. The entire case is sealed and cannot be viewed by the public.
Tom Carson, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, declined to comment. Acting U.S. Attorney Gregory Haanstad declined to comment. Dennis Coffey, Meyer’s current attorney, did not return calls for comment.
Judge unseals documents
Hirschhorn’s March public authority and insanity motions were unsealed Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman. The unsealing was in response to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel court challenge to the secrecy order issued in March.
While representing Meyer, Hirschhorn compared his ex-client to Donnie Brasco, the undercover name used by an FBI agent who investigated organized crime. Brasco, whose story was made famous in a 1997 movie starring Johnny Depp, became involved in criminal activities while hanging out with and investigating mobsters.
In the unsealed insanity defense motion, Hirschhorn argued that Meyer’s thought processing and “executive functioning” abilities have deteriorated “in significant part due to the life, lifestyle and the ‘role’ (Meyer) portrayed while acting as a deep cover informant.”
Since becoming an informant Meyer has helped law enforcement target “organized crime individuals and organizations in at least two states,” Hirschhorn wrote. As an informant Meyer befriended “members of the Mafia, loan sharks, extortionists, bookmakers, offshore bookmaking organizations, high profile and large wager gamblers.”
Meyer also dealt with “drug dealers, U.S. currency counterfeiters, unscrupulous and dishonest lawyers, elected public officials, compromised Department of Treasury and Secret Service officials…. as well as known and feared mobsters, money launderers corrupt professional athletes and college level coaches,” Hirschhorn wrote.
The Journal Sentinel reported in March that Meyer had assisted Major League Baseball in its 2014 investigation of a possible tie between a Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher and a gambler. The pitcher, Jeff Locke, was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Meyer, who had a been a nationally known betting handicapper who sold tips for as much as $250,000, “assisted in the government’s seizure of at least $750 million from illegal offshore bookmaking operations by an FBI-led task force,” Hirschhorn wrote.
‘Consultant to the stars’
Meyer, who had billed himself as the “sports consultant to the stars,” was arrested in his south Florida home late last year on charges of wire fraud, extortion, racketeering and brandishing a firearm, according to the six-count indictment issued by a grand jury in Wisconsin.
According the indictment, Sadoff, who owns the state’s largest liquor wholesaler, had been a customer of Meyer’s tout service and eventually began placing bets through bookies whom he was referred to by Meyer. Unknown to Sadoff was that the bookies were associates of Meyer.
After Sadoff 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, and even called Sadoff claiming to be Kent Wong. Kent Wong actually was an alter ego created by Meyer.
Later Meyer said one of the bookies thought that Sadoff and Meyer were gambling partners and owed the bookie a substantial sum. Meyer told Sadoff that the bookie held Sadoff equally responsible for the debt, according to the indictment, which did not name Sadoff but referred to him only as “Victim A.”
In 2012 Meyer and a second individual — a person who sources say was connected to gangs in Florida — flew to Fond du Lac in a private plane. At gunpoint, the gang member demanded that Sadoff wire millions to certain bank accounts.
“In response to that threat, Victim A agreed to provide $9.8 million to Meyer,” the indictment states.
Before his arrest, Meyer appeared on national and local media outlets including ESPN.com and CNBC. Well known for placing six- and seven-figure bets in Las Vegas casinos, Meyer owns Real Money Sports Inc. and claimed in a 2011 interview to pay his own stable of consultants and outside sources $6million annually. His website — adamwins.com — apparently has been taken down.
The 2014 arrest was not the first run-in with law enforcement for Meyer, who Hirschhorn wrote “has been an addicted and compulsive gambler since high school.”
In 1996 he was sentenced to six months for threatening a person across state lines by phone. He was charged with felony drug possession last year. Those charges are pending in Florida.
He is being held without bail in the Dodge County Detention Facility. His $1 million bail was revoked in April after he repeatedly failed drug tests and was booted out of a drug rehab center in Florida.
He is scheduled to go on trial in February.