SANFORD, Fla. -- A jury has been seated in the trial of Kelly Mathis, who investigators say is the mastermind behind a $300 million illegal gambling operation.The jury is in recess for the day. It will hear opening statements first thing Thursday morning.
Mathis, a Jacksonville attorney, is the first to go on trial in the Allied Veterans Charity scandal that netted 57 arrests.
The trial could last up to six weeks. The jury is made up of four women and two men, with two women and a man serving as alternates.
[Special coverage: Veterans Charity Scandal
Investigators claimed Allied Veterans raked in hundreds of millions of dollars from a fraud ring that used Internet cafes as a front throughout Florida.
The company claimed to be a non-profit that donated 70% of all of its proceeds back to the Veterans Administration. according to court documents.
After seizing evidence in two states and pouring through more than 30 bank accounts, federal investigators found only 2 percent of all of the proceeds were charitably given to the VA, or about $6 million.
Meanwhile, documents show Allied Veterans of the World, Inc. and Affiliates made $290 million from 2007 through early 2012; and that was after paying out gambling winnings to players, according to the court documents.
Former FOP President Nelson Cuba, Vice President Robert Freitas, and former Allied Veterans of the World Commander Jerry Bass were among those arrested.
Bass pleaded no contest last month to two counts of operating a lottery. He is expected to testify in the trials of the remaining suspects.