By Kelley Smith
April 24, 2016
MICHIGAN CITY – Five men who allegedly ran an illegal gambling operation out of Michigan City for several years appeared in La Porte Superior Court 1 Thursday, at which time Judge Michael Bergerson scheduled them to reappear on May 19 to discuss the state’s motion to amend their charges, and again on June 16 for trial setting.
David J. Biela, Gregory Czizek, John T. Greene, James E. Liverman and Stanley Mazur were arrested in February for their alleged roles in the ongoing crime.
The defendants, described in police documents as “bookies,” are accused of creating parlay cards that allowed them to collect bets on football games after they had supposedly distributed the cards at various La Porte County locations. Charging documents cite incidents that occurred between September 2013 and October 2015, although the Indiana Gaming Commission reportedly began investigating the gambling ring as early as 2010.
Police say several pieces of evidence related to illegal bookmaking and gambling were located when a search warrant was executed at Biela’s residence and Biela Printing Company in October. And while police were there, the phone reportedly rang multiple times with callers wanting to place bets.
Biela, a former city councilman, admits in court documents to printing on a weekly basis 1,150 cards for Greene, 1,200 for Liverman, 600 for Czizek and 900 for Mazur. However, Biela has filed a pending motion with the court that all charges against him be dismissed.
All five defendants are free on bond as they await the outcomes of their individual trials. If convicted, each faces 1 to 6 years in the Indiana Department of Correction for the corrupt business influence charge, and 6 months to 2.5 years for each count of promoting professional gambling; as well as a fine of up to $10,000 for each count they face.
Original Article: The Michigan City News-Dispatch