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Lawmakers, lobbyist cut ties to accused sweepstakes company

Posted March 14, 2013

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— North Carolina politicians and lobbyists are running from an Internet sweepstakes company embroiled in a federal investigation in Florida.

International Internet Technologies was indicted Wednesday in Florida and Oklahoma on charges that it supplied illegal gaming software in Florida, claiming the proceeds would benefit a veterans group. According to The Associated Press, Oklahoma authorities say IIT owner Chase Egan Burns and his wife directed only $6 million of their $290 million profit to the charity. The couple faces racketeering charges.

North Carolina State Board of Elections records show Burns contributed more than $154,000 to state politicians and political organizations last year.

He gave to both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, as well as $4,000 to Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign and $55,000 to the North Carolina Republican Party.

The North Carolina Democratic Party issued a statement Thursday morning that House Democrats planned to donate an amount equal to Burns' contributions to charities that benefit North Carolina veterans.

The North Carolina Republican Party said GOP House members would do likewise.

There was no word on whether any senators, Democrat or Republican, would follow suit. The GOP didn't comment on the money the state party received from Burns.

McCrory spokeswoman Kim Genardo said the governor's campaign would donate $4,000 to the Durham Rescue Mission.

Allied Veterans of the World gaming hall Veterans charity allegedly used as front for illegal gaming

The law firm Moore and Van Allen, which lobbied for IIT in North Carolina, cut ties with the firm Thursday. IIT hired the Charlotte-based law firm early this year, after McCrory left the firm for the Governor's Office.

IIT provides software and operates some Internet cafes that offer online games that simulate slot machines. The company is working to continue operations in North Carolina despite a state law that bans sweepstakes cafes.

In a brief statement, Moore and Van Allen acknowledged it worked with IIT in North Carolina on legislative strategy and media outreach. The firm gave no explanation for severing ties with IIT, but a source told WRAL News the decision was clearly based on the federal investigation in Florida.

In addition to 57 people indicted in the Florida gambling scheme, Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigned from office because of her former public relations firm’s work with IIT.

IIT’s North Carolina operations have not been named in the federal investigation.

Allied Veterans of the World, the charity Burns operated, was licensed to do business in North Carolina until last year, when it's license expired, according to the North Carolina Secretary of State's Office.

19 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • softwaresweepstakes Mar 16, 2:48 p.m.

    article about IIT and game displayed at top is a Figure 8 Technologies game wheel deal...

  • Rebelyell55 Mar 15, 10:01 a.m.

    Well that would explain why they've operated for so long now don't it. That's a lot of money, easy to get since they were not regulated by anyone.

  • Ex-Republican Mar 14, 6:35 p.m.

    "By the way, just how much did the Democratic party of NC get? There seems to be an editorial error in the article that seems to only show one side in a negative light and would present outright bias." Thought Criminal WS

    That omission is so glaringly obvious that it caught my attention right away. To avoid the appearance of bias the writer should say that no figures were available for the Democratic party, if indeed that is the case.

  • Thought Criminal WS Mar 14, 6:08 p.m.

    I applaud that both sides of the aisle are making contributions but it would be really nice if they BOTH did this from political contributions at a matching rate WITHOUT the need for someone to get busted for doing something illegal.

    By the way, just how much did the Democratic party of NC get? There seems to be an editorial error in the article that seems to only show one side in a negative light and would present outright bias. I'm sure WRAL will fix this to display thier journalistic integrity.

    If not, they need new journalists.

  • remer54 Mar 14, 5:03 p.m.

    The buzzards are leaving the roadkill.

  • Uhavenoclu Mar 14, 5:01 p.m.

    They didn't say ALL of the proceeds,they still contributed some,so what's the deal?

  • carpe Mar 14, 4:42 p.m.

    There was a time in this country when if a person had integrity, even they had very little, they were in a sense, "rich."

    Now you can't find "integrity" and "elected official" in the same dictionary.

    ALL, regardless of the side of the aisle, elected officials are morally bankrupt because there is not one of them anymore (if ever) who has one ounce of integrity.

  • Cock a doodle doo Mar 14, 4:39 p.m.

    "Apparently you missed all the tax cut deals that were done by the Dems and Perdue and the Governors before her."

    I didn't miss them, but I'm just finding it a little curious a law firm in Charlotte that McCrory just happened to be working at (with his liberal arts degree) would have ongoing talks with these businesses.

  • SouthernPackerFan Mar 14, 4:38 p.m.

    Ifr any indication as to how they spent their money on elections as they did in Florida, the Democratic Party of N.Carolina was measly compaired to their donations to the GOP
    "Florida campaign records also showed International Internet Technologies has poured in nearly $500,000 into campaign accounts since 2009, including more than $230,000 to the Republican Party of Florida and $60,000 to the Florida Democratic Party."

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Mar 14, 4:26 p.m.

    "In a brief statement, Moore and Van Allen acknowledged it worked with IIT in North Carolina on legislative strategy and media outreach. The firm gave no explanation for severing ties with IIT, but a source told WRAL News the decision was clearly based on the federal investigation in Florida."

    It appears the federal investigation will be coming soon to Raleigh. Feds: bring your subpoena powers.

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