Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Federal prosecutors will have to prove Brett Parker's gambling ring was run by at least 5 people or collected at least $2,000 in any one day to convict him on federal gambling charges.
The federal case against Brett Parker, his father Jack Parker, and Doug Taylor began Monday before a jury of 10 men and 4 women. While the case will be presented before all 14 jurors, only 12 will deliberate the verdict.
Attorneys on both sides say 4 people, Brett Parker, Jack Parker, Bryan Capnerhurst, and Doug Taylor were involved in the ring.
In opening statements, Assistant US Attorney Winston Holliday suggested the government would also prove Tammy Parker, Brett Parker's deceased wife, was the 5th person involved in the ring.
Holliday called a witness who said he placed bets with Brett Parker over the phone and over text, so much so, he lost between $100,000 and $130,000. He testified that sometimes when he settled up, he would stop by the Parker's home in Irmo and give his payments to Tammy Parker.
The same witness also said that on two different occasions, he paid Brett Parker $6,000 to settle up debt he owed on a variety of bets.
Meanwhile, Brett Parker's lawyer called his operation "not particularly sophisticated" but said he "violated the one cardinal rule of bookies. He bet himself."
An investigator with the Richland County Sheriff's Department testified that Parker owed more than $175,000 on bets he'd made with other bookies.
Some of those bets may have come through an online betting account set under a pseudonym, the same name as the man who paid Parker the $6,000 checks and sometimes paid his debt to Tammy Parker. The man testified he never knew an online betting account was set up in his name.
Federal prosecutors told jurors about a bookie practice called a 'lay-off' bet. In a lay-off bet, one bookie makes a bet with another bookie with hopes of winning and making money himself to pay back his own clients. Attorneys will continue to argue if Parker was making lay-off bets or actually gambling himself.
The trial is expected to finish up this week. A verdict could be handed to the judge as early as Thursday.