Harold Lee, Ex-Judge and Outspoken Off-Reservation Gambling Advocate, Convicted of Three Felonies

Categories: Sports

A Maricopa County jury convicted Harold "Bud" Lee Jr. of three felony counts related to gambling on Friday, including conspiracy and illegal control of an enterprise.

 

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The 68-year-old Lee, who once served as a Phoenix Justice of the Peace, was allowed to remain free from custody until his sentencing, now scheduled for March 7. Lee will be eligible for probation but also faces a possible prison term.

We published a story back in April 2009 about Lee's mission in life--which has been to convince the world that Arizona's anti-gambling laws are lunacy.

Trouble for Lee was that he walked the walk, which led the state Attorney General's Office (under then-AG Terry Goddard) to secure a grand-jury conviction against the Phoenix man and two co-defendants, both of whom pleaded guilty earlier to reduced charges.

Poker rooms are against the law in Arizona, except at the 22 casinos on 15 Indian reservations, where a few hundred tables are in service night and day.

Arizona does permit "social gambling" outside of the Indian casinos, but only if no one other than the players collects money from a game, whether it is poker or anything else. It also is illegal for the "house" to charge an entry fee for a poker game off the reservations.

Not that the gendarmes are about to knock down the doors of an Elks club anytime soon, but Lee's "organization," the International Card and Player's Association, charged interested "card room" owners a starting fee of $5,000. In return, he issued a charter and a quasi-business plan for an off-reservation poker room, collecting (he told us) as much as 15 percent of the profits from said owners.

Lee told us for the story that he also made "a little money" from the $20 annual "membership fee" charged to every new poker player at one of his rooms. He claimed that more than a thousand people "joined" one of his onetime affiliates, the now-defunct Club Royale in Tucson.

Prosecutors from the AG's Office (assistant attorney general Todd Lawson tried the case) sought the indictments after agents from the Arizona Department of Gaming completed a lengthy investigation.

It apparently marked the first time in Arizona that authorities brought felony charges against individuals under the state's illegal gambling laws.

The indictments focus on illegal gambling that went on at the Ace High Card Room and Social Club in Surprise. That club is no longer is in business.

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1 comments
judgeharoldlee
judgeharoldlee

Judge Lee the Convict at Large (Stupid is as Stupid Does) Responds to Sleaze ---...

"...Free at last; Lord Almighty I am Free at Last!" 

 

While it is true that I was convicted of three felonies with a potential sentence of nearly 20 years. I notice you did not bother to comment that "stupid is as stupid does" was hailed by the trial judge as being courageous. The Court then declined to punish me. In fact, not even a symbolic fine was imposed on me. Actually, aAs it turns out; I effectively garnered the funds to cover the  substantial legal fees and court costs necessary to appeal my conviction, as ordered by the trial judge at my sentencing,

 

I don't believe you bothered to notice to your readers that your friends at the DoG had their railroad halted in it tracks. The DoG is now on a new track to the appellate court system. . . ..

 

Stupid, is pretty unfair Paul. Pardon the pun but, the jury (or should I say the Appeals Court) is still out on whether I am stupid. However, it is also true that I am now prosecuting an appeal, while your crony Czar Bronvich and the BIA gambling cabal, along with AG's office are defending their abuse of my 1st Amendment rights.

 

Rather than cast aspersions on me, why not educate yourself as to the reasons the judicial system refused to punish any of the defendants indicted in State vs. Lee? Do you know? Please.visit www.convictatlarge.me

 

 I hope you won';t be too shocked when the Court of Appeals boots the States case and reaffirms that my conduct is protected by the Bill of Rights, especially the ACL petition lodged with the State in 2005.

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