Firefighter-Bookee Pleads Guilty to Gambling Charges - Fox 2 News Headlines

Firefighter-Bookie Pleads Guilty to Gambling Charges

Posted: Updated:

(FOX 11/AP) -- A retired Los Angeles County firefighter pleaded guilty Monday to a federal charge of running an illegal sports gambling business that authorities said appeared to operate in part from a firehouse while he was on duty.

Retired fire Capt. Tod Hipsher, 51, entered the plea in federal court in Santa Ana. He is set to be sentenced on June 2 and could face a maximum of five years in prison.

Hipsher netted hundreds of thousands of dollars over 12 years through an online, Costa Rica-based sports book that took wagers on the Super Bowl, college basketball games and other events, homeland security officials said.

Authorities said they searched Hipsher's Irvine home in March and seized $200,000 in cash. He retired at the end of 2013.

"We have great respect for firefighters and first responders," said Josh Robbins, an assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case. "It's disappointing when someone in an official position, especially someone in a position of leadership and responsibility, chooses to be involved in illegal activity of any kind."

The investigation into Hipsher and his associates began in 2009 following a tip from the Orange County District Attorney's office.

Another Orange County man has pleaded guilty to running an illegal gambling business on another site and will be sentenced later this year, Robbins said.

Authorities say Hipsher's clients bet online or used a 1-800 number.

In 2011, undercover agents met at least twice with Hipsher at a fire station in Bell to conduct gambling business, said Mark Speidel, a special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement's homeland security investigations.

Hipsher told authorities he made between $200,000 and $300,000 during the past few years, Speidel said, adding that some bettors interviewed by investigators said they had been financially ruined by the sports book.

Hipsher and federal authorities reached a plea agreement in October but he did not plead guilty in court until Monday.

Hipsher's lawyer, Victor Sherman, told the court the delay allowed his client to retire at the end of last year.

A message was left with Los Angeles County Fire Department seeking comment.

  • Share ThisMore>>

  • Can A Guy With Horns, Tattoos Get A Fair Trial? Lawyer Doesn't Think So

    Can A Guy With Horns, Tattoos Get A Fair Trial? Lawyer Doesn't Think So

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:35 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:35:57 GMT
    The lawyer for a man charged with murder for his alleged role in the slayings of three Berkshire County men says he's concerned his client's “unique appearance” will prevent selection of impartial jurors.
    The lawyer for a man charged with murder for his alleged role in the slayings of three Berkshire County men says he's concerned his client's “unique appearance” will prevent selection of impartial jurors.
  • "Apparently" This Kid is Awesome, Steals the Show During Interview

    "Apparently" This Kid is Awesome, Steals the Show During Interview

    Friday, August 22 2014 1:24 AM EDT2014-08-22 05:24:45 GMT
    “Apparently” this kid should have a future in the news business and his You Tube Video has gone viral with more than 14 million views!
    “Apparently” this kid should have a future in the news business and his You Tube Video has gone viral with more than 14 million views!
  • FOUND: AMBER ALERT 4-Year-Old Boy Abducted & Suspect Angel Jacoba Schat

    FOUND: AMBER ALERT 4-Year-Old Boy Abducted & Suspect Angel Jacoba Schat

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:31 AM EDT2014-08-22 04:31:04 GMT
    On August 19, 2014, at 10:00 pm, Sjon Singleton was abducted from Bishop, CA. Sjon singleton is a 4-year-old, light-skinned black male, 3 feet tall, 35 pound, juvenile with black hair, and brown eyes, unknown clothing .Suspect is Angel Jacoba Schat, a 43year-old, white, female, 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing 145 pounds, with blonde hair, blue eyes.
    On August 19, 2014, at 10:00 pm, Sjon Singleton was abducted from Bishop, CA. Sjon singleton is a 4-year-old, light-skinned black male, 3 feet tall, 35 pound, juvenile with black hair, and brown eyes, unknown clothing .Suspect is Angel Jacoba Schat, a 43year-old, white, female, 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing 145 pounds, with blonde hair, blue eyes.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices