Security agents from the Idaho Lottery Commission raided Big Bucks Bingo in Garden City earlier this month, forcing around 100 players to find another way to idle away their Wednesday evenings. Now those players may have to find a new diversion to fill all of their remaining twilight years, because Big Bucks' bigwigs have been convicted in federal court of taking home more prizes far beyond those they dished out to gamers.
William J. Tway and Robert J. Ford, who have run Big Bucks since 1996, were convicted on Thursday of conspiracy to defraud the IRS, following a lengthy investigation into several charities supposedly benefiting from the parlor. Prosecutors said the men had pocketed significant amounts of the around $750,000 Big Bucks took in annually, after Tway significantly overstated the amount that Big Bucks had given away on the parlor's tax returns in 1999 and 2000. Tway was also convicted of filing false tax returns in 1999 and 2000 for the Free Speech Foundation, one of the organizations the parlor was supporting. Translated into random bingo terms, Tway's lucky jar was one ball-shooter short of a Texas blackout. And as for Ford, his hall ball was lamer than an electric dauber that breaks down during the early-bird game.
At their upcoming sentencing hearing, the men could face up to eight years in prison and $250,000 in fines.