Attorney falls foul of Wire Wagering Act
By Linda
An Iola attorney has pleaded guilty to violating the federal Wire Wagering Act. According to court records, Meagher handled phone and Internet sports bets from U.S. customers between 1996 and early 2000 as part of an illegal Internet sports gambling ring.

U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb has scheduled Meagher’s sentencing for July 18 in Madison.

Bruce J. Meagher, 51, faces up to two years in prison, a $250,000 fine and one year of supervised release at his sentencing in U.S. District Court in Madison.

He may also lose his job. He is a partner in the law firm of Hansen, Meagher, Shambeau, Maroney and Anderson, which has offices in Iola and Waupaca. The firm represents both the school district and the village of Iola, and Meagher is the firm's representative to both.

Additional punishment ranges from a private reprimand, which would be secret, to a suspension or revocation of his law license, which is announced to the public.

'He was a good attorney for us before this and he's still a good attorney for us,' Price said Wednesday. 'But the board hires him, just as they hired me.'

Meagher partially owned Gold Medal Sports, a foreign corporation that had operated on the Caribbean island of Curacao. The company handled phone and Internet sports bets from U.S. customers in excess of $402 million between 1996 and the first quarter of 2000.

He is the sixth defendant to plead guilty in the Internet sports booking case involving Gold Medal Sports. Its main owners — Duane Pede 53, Amherst Junction, and Jeff D’Ambrosia, 43, Henderson, Nev. — pleaded guilty to racketeering and other charges in December and forfeited more than $3.3 million in criminal earnings.

Pede and D’Ambrosia were sentenced to five years in federal prison in February and ordered to pay more than $1.4 million in back taxes and fines of $100,000 each.

Meagher was in meetings Wednesday and unavailable for comment, a spokeswoman said.

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