Wisconsin Liquor Company Owner Was Victim of $25 Million Gambling Extortion Case
Gary Sadoff, who owns the Badger Liquor Company, was the victim of a $25 million gambling extortion case in Fond du Lac. Sadoff sent an email to employees of his liquor company, which confirmed that he was the focus of an extortion plot.
The plot involved an illegal bookmaker by the name of Adam Meyer. Besides being accused of running an illegal sports betting ring as a local bookie, Mr. Meyer is facing charges that he made violent threats against Mr. Sadoff’s family over a number of years. The liquor company’s owner’s reluctance to go to authorities may have involved a sense of propriety about his gambling habit.
Identity of “Victim A”
In court records obtained earlier, a resident of Fond du Lac named by prosectors only as “Victim A”, began purchasing sports sports gambling advise from a man named Adam Meyer in 2007. Eventually, Adam Meyer began making threats to Victim A, which included violent threats against his family.
These attempts at extortion continued for several years, and were successful. Gary Sadoff, who outed hismelf as “Victim A”, paid Adam Meyer for years to keep his family safe. Action 2 News out of Green Bay reported on the case throughout the trial. The Action 2 News Team also received a copy of an email sent to employees of Badger Liquor Company.
“Numerous Threats of Violence”
Sadoff’s email to his employees read, “I wanted you to hear, directly from me, that I am the victim described in the indictment. As the charges detailed, for a number of years my family was threatened with harm, a gun was pulled on me, and I received numerous warnings of violence. In response to those threats, I made a series of payments to protect my family.”
Charges against Adam Meyer
Adam Meyer was arrested in the case and now faces 6 felony counts. The federal charges include extortion, fraud, and racketeering. Meyer has pleaded not guilty in the case and faces a March trial date. Gary Sadoff is cooperating with federal authorities in the case, and is likely going to be a key witness in the upcoming trial.
When Action 2 News asked the Badger Liquor Company for a statement from Gary Sadoff, the broadcasters were told Sadoff was out of town. According to the Badger Liquor Company’s official website, the company employs 400 people and is the largest distributor of liquor in the state of Wisconsin.
Unregulated Gambling Leaves Betters Vulnerable
The Sadoff/Meyer Case is another example of how an unregulated gaming market encourages criminality and leaves gamblers vulnerable to any number of methods of exploitation and threats. The imposition of vice crimes tend to increase the level of organized crime in an area. A significant number of citizens view crimes against their vices to be an overstep of government authority, and thus see no reason to follow those laws.
The case of Prohibition (of alcohol) in the 1920s is one case where vice crimes did not work. Average Americans saw liquor laws as illegitimate, but the resulting market for bootlegging led to the rise of organized crime in the United States (the Italian mob or Mafia). In the 1980s, the United States began a War on Drugs. The legacy of the efforts to criminalize drug use is the world’s largest prison system, as well as the vast wealth of the Mexican drug cartels. With that wealth, the Mexican drug cartels have been able to further corrupt the Mexican government at every level.
While Adam Meyer’s alleged crimes were more limited, the shadowy existence of a gaming black market allowed a man to get away with terroristic threats.
Gary Sadoff’s Full Email
The full text of Gary Sadoff’s email to members of the Badger Liquor Company read:
“As you may know, earlier last month, the United States Attorney in Milwaukee indicted a man named Adam Meyer on six counts of fraud and extortion, including threats of violence against an unnamed individual.
Since that time, there’s been some speculation about the identity of that person.
I wanted you to hear, directly from me, that I am the victim described in the indictment.
As the charges detailed, for a number of years my family was threatened with harm, a gun was pulled on me, and I received numerous warnings of violence. In response to those threats, I made a series of payments to protect my family.
No one wants to be the victim of a crime and certainly no one wants to relive those events in public. But the facts are there and I am cooperating with the prosecutors’ case against Meyer.
Please know that all of these events happened several years ago and had no effect on our company. Because of your efforts, we had a successful 2014 and this personal issue should not distract from all of those accomplishments.
Thank you for your dedication and commitment to our company and to our customers. I look forward to our working together in 2015.“
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