SANFORD, Fla. -- Opening statements are underway in the Kelly Mathis trial.
The Jacksonville attorney faces dozens of illegal gambling and racketeering charges stemming from a raid of Internet cafes in March.
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Mathis was the attorney for the organization that ran those Internet cafes, Allied Veterans of the World. It was a non-profit designed to provide aid and housing for homeless and disabled veterans.
Prosecutors say not only were those cafes fronts for an illegal gambling operation, they say Allied Vets only donated a fraction of their earnings to veterans.
Mathis is the accused mastermind of the $300 million operation, a charge he denies.
He was one of 57 people arrested in a series of raids that spanned several counties.
Former Allied Vets commander, Jerry Bass, was also arrested, as was the former president and vice-president of Jacksonville's Fraternal Order of Police, Nelson Cuba and Robbie Freitas.
Bass pleaded no contest to two felony counts of operating a lottery. Nearly 200 other charges were dropped. In exchange for the plea, he will serve no prison time and no probation. He will have to pay court costs and fines.
Cuba and Freitas waived their right to a speedy trial and will face a judge at a later date.
Charges against dozens of other suspects have been dropped.
Mathis has refused to take a deal, confident a jury will find him innocent of all charges.
His trial is expected to last four to six weeks.