Submitted by Roldo on Fri, 10/30/2009 - 14:19.

A former Michigan state trooper tells a different story of Dan Gilbert’s arrest on operation of gambling business than the Cavs owner has been peddling to the news media. Gilbert has made it seem a minor episode, best forgotten.


Gilbert, a billionaire of the mortgage business and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has been a lead proponent of a monopoly casino issue on the November ballot. Issue 3 will give Gilbert a monopoly casino in Cleveland.


A lieutenant detective tells of the arrest of Gilbert when he was a Michigan student. He posed as the father of a gambling debtor. He said a victim told him of a strong-armed threat unless he paid. He also linked a car filled with manure to the betting business as a method of forcing collections of gambling debts.


The detective, John Fiedler recorded the meeting with Gilbert when he went to pay the debt. He said he was shown a ledger with betting data with pages of bets made, some as high as $1,000 or more.


Here is his statement in full:


My name is John Fiedler, and I was a member of the Michigan Department of State Police for 25 years.

In 1981, while I was a Detective Lieutenant in charge of the organized crime unit, the East Lansing Police asked my unit to assist them with a criminal investigation into an illegal bookmaking operation that eventually led to the arrest of Dan Gilbert.

I have read Mr. Gilbert’s explanation of what happened that day. I’m here to tell you what really happened.

East Lansing Police received a complaint from a young man who owed a significant amount of money to the bookies. It was over $1000 but I cannot remember the exact amount.

After interviewing the victim, I had him call and say that his father planned to pay his debt and arrange a meeting between the bookies and his dad.  I posed as the young man’s father and entered an off-campus house where I met two men. One of them was Dan Gilbert, and Dan Gilbert did all the talking.

I was wearing a hidden recorder and transmitter and I asked him why he believed that my “son” owed him so much money. The other man left the room and returned with a ledger. He showed me all of the bets that he had made – and I got to see lists of bets that others had made. I do not remember the number of bets but several pages of the ledger book were filled.

There were $10 bets, $100 bets and even some $1,000 bets.

The victim had personally told me that Mr. Gilbert had grabbed him and pushed him up against the wall, making threats that he had better pay up. Another police officer who worked on the case said one victim who did not pay had his car filled with manure and it contained a letter threatening bodily harm.

I asked Mr. Gilbert why he felt the need to threaten my “son” and he told me that he was owed the money and my “son” refused to pay.

So I paid him the money, signaled to the East Lancing Police, and they entered the house and arrested both men.

I understand that the voters of Ohio have a big decision to make on Tuesday. When I learned Mr. Gilbert’s characterization of what happened back in 1981, I agreed to tell the people of Ohio what really transpired. Mr. Gilbert was part of a serious, organized bookmaking ring that threatened some of its victims with violence.

I am also here today because I learned that some members of Ohio’s law enforcement community believe that Issue 3 would severely limit the scope and authority of law enforcement over owners and investors of Ohio’s casinos. Based on my police experience in investigating crimes of this nature, I completely agree with concerns raised by the Ohio law enforcement community. Casinos are the type of industry that demands tough, impartial and complete oversight.

I am not here to tell Ohio voters how to vote on Issue 3. I am here to try and make sure Ohio voters have the facts they need to make an informed choice.



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Vote against issue 3 and the "Cavs"

Roldo, thank you for your posting... this explains why Gilbert seems so scummy... he is.

After reading your honest reporting of Issue 3 facts, I went to to see the officially sponsored Gilbert/PD version, and there is nothing there about these honest police revelations about Gilbert.

Where did you get this testimony?

Why isn't the Plain Dealer reporting truthfully about Gilbert... why have they never...?

What scum.

Vote against issue 3 and Gilbert's "Cavs".

Disrupt IT

I'm sure this has been sent

I'm sure this has been sent to the Pee Dee.

How Many Ad Dollars Does It Take to Bury The Truth?

How Many Ad Dollars Does It Take to Bury The Truth?

How many dollars do Dan Gilbert interests spend on PD and other advertising, per year, now, and how much will they spend in addition if Issue 3 passes...?!?!... that many dollars.

I think we should know how many dollars Dan Gilbert spends everywhere in NEO, right now, as all those dollars are payment for help passing issue 3...

And we, the great city of Cleveland, are subsidizing Issue 3 with TAX DOLLARS funding Issue 3 Campaign HQ the Q (FBI - Where the hell are you on the important corruption around Cleveland???)!!!

And, this evil is already cursing Cleveland and the Cavs - bad karma is a motherF.

I'd like to see Issue 3 fail, and new ownership of the Cavs!

Disrupt IT

No Issue 3 Signs to be seen on East Side... Bahhhh, Ohio.

I was out looking for illegal campaign signs in the East Side suburbs today and noticed there are no signs at all anywhere for Issue 3 - legal or illegal. This issue does not have one single living supporter where I've been, around town.

I did see one legal "Vote No Against Issue 3 - No To Casinos" sign on Shaker, in Shaker, and will get a picture of that...

What have you seen around town, regarding signs for and against issue 3 - is this campaign entirely a heavily one sided Gilbert interest funded mainstream media and mail PR campaign against the vulnerable, apathetic, unthinking people of Ohio, who are not in fact at all supportive but may be so beaten down to submit to saturation marketing and political tyranny?

It appears to.

Bahhhh, Ohio.

Disrupt IT

Mt Haven Baptist Church

... at Union and MLK had an anti-casino sign when I drove past this afternoon.

Its not a bad location if

Its not a bad location if they build it correctly, people do come to town for Indians, Cavs and Browns games.

I never thought of Cleveland as a destination for regional tourism, but it actually is at least it was when I worked at the Marriott in the 90’s.

But the Flats were still alive then, so if you have the East Bank, the Convention Center and the Rock Hall these and the improvements to Euclid Ave then its not looking bad for that. We have some very serious restoration projects going on Euclid Ave. Then the CSU campus projects and the Allen Theater/CSU performing arts program.

The site they choose for the proposed casino is on Ontario and its actually connected to the water front line.  The walkway from Tower city.

I would like to have see Sam Miller commit to developing the Scranton Road Peninsula and also build a garage behind the terminal tower. If that area after the casino is built does not look finished and completed then the potential for the city to appear dynamic and well connected will not be realized.

The base of the hill; at the river is really ideal for boater to access the city and if the peninsula was developed it would really add some dimension to the city.

The canal road site changed my opinion on this, its connected to the Gateway area and the water front its actually ideal and should be seen as a catalyst for redeveloping that area and reactivating the flats.

I’m not sure if a man that owns a loan origination company is that evil, maybe only moderately evil. He made enough on those loan origination fees to buy an NBA team and seems to have enough to build a $600 million dollar casino. 

I doubt that the casino will be LEED or Green…they usually are blanketed in incandescent bulbs.

Oh I hope that did not make any one nauseous…