CHARLOTTE HALL, MD. — The final chapter in the latest scheme of local con-man and business owner George Wells came to a close when nearly twenty thousand dollars he had scammed from local gamblers was given to the group he had fraudulently represented in his Charlotte Hall Casino operation.
Wells told THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY he was being railroaded by Sheriff’s deputies and States Attorney’s Office and asked to be interviewed a week prior to his trial. He failed to appear for the interview and then consented to a plea agreement in which the funds he had collected from his illegal casino were confiscated.
Wells has run a number of businesses including the former Charlotte Hall House of Ribs. The rib joint ran a famous charity golf tournament at the St. Mary’s County-operated Wicomico Shores Golf Club, where strippers and hookers serviced the golfers for a price on the ninth hole.
A year ago, Wells set up a casino in the shopping center owned by former Sheriff Ben Burroughs. Another casino was operated down the street at New Market. Finally, after months of investigation, one casino operator fled and Wells was shut down with search warrant raid on his home turning up the loot.
According to police and prosecutors: In June of 2013, detectives from the Vice/Narcotics Division received several complaints from the community regarding the TPR Casino operating in Charlotte Hall, Maryland. Detectives identified George Wells as the manger of the casino, which was reportedly being operated to benefit Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc., (TPR); a charitable organization located in Prince George’s County, Maryland, recognized by the Internal Revenue Service.
During a lengthy investigation, evidence revealed Wells used TPR, Inc.,’s non profit charitable status as a front and intentionally used proceeds from the casino operation for his personal benefit. Wells maintained thousands of dollars in proceeds were routinely being given to TPR, Inc., and they were not. TPR, Inc.,’s president had no knowledge of the casino’s existence.
In December 2013, George Raymond Wells, 56, of Huntingtown, was formally charged with running a gambling house and theft scheme $10,000 – $100,000. On May 14, 2014, Captain Dan Alioto and Assistant State’s Attorney Daniel White presented the president of TPR, Inc., Kimberly Clarke, with a check in the amount of $18,981.00; proceeds obtained by Wells as a result of his scheme.
“This investigation is a perfect example of the effectiveness of partnerships. From the original complaints received from the community to intelligence gathered by patrol deputies and the guidance provided from the State’s Attorney’s Office in conjunction with a thorough and detailed investigation. It was a very good day for all of us to be able to expose Wells and his illegal scheme and give this money to the rightful owner. This should send a clear message to anyone who thinks they will use a charitable organization as a front for illegal activity,” — Captain Dan Alioto.
“This case was never about card games as much as it was about the defendant raising donations on behalf of a simple charity and then putting all the money into his pocket. We are proud to have helped the Sheriff’s team return these funds to their rightful owner – decent hardworking people at TPR,” — ASA Daniel White.
“I think it’s wonderful! It really does save horses lives. That money goes directly to saving their lives. So nice to have people do such a good thing because it was the right thing to do. It was a total surprise. We always struggle to raise money. It made a huge difference, ” — Kimberly Clarke, President, Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc., (TPR).