A professional gambler has been indicted by a federal grand jury in a racetrack scheme that allegedly involved cashing other bettors’ tickets and obtaining refunds from false tax returns.
The activities of James J. Greulich of Huntington Beach took place at the Del Mar, Santa Anita and Hollywood Park tracks in 1995. Greulich, 53, who is known around the tracks as “Jimmy the Mouth,” allegedly cashed winning tickets for people who made the bets, paid taxes on the payoffs and then collected a commission from the original bettors for his services.
At the track, such operatives are known as “10-percenters,” because of the commission they sometimes charge their customers. When 10-percenters file their IRS returns, they can reduce the tax on their winnings by showing gambling losses.
Tax records showed that Greulich’s gross income for 1995 was $2.2 million. One of his associates, who became an unindicted co-conspirator, filed a federal tax return that listed gross income of more than $900,000. The indictment says that Greulich’s associate, after receiving a $167,995 IRS refund, passed on $140,000 of that amount to Greulich.
When winning tickets total $5,000 or more, and represent payoffs at odds of 300-to-1 or higher, racetracks act as agents for the government and collect a 28% tax on the payoffs. Jerome Friedberg, an assistant U.S. attorney, said Greulich would approach bettors whose winning payoffs were to be taxed.
The seven-count indictment, issued Tuesday, charges that Greulich’s scheme allowed him to file tax returns that contained both substantial income and large losses relating to gambling activities.
Greulich’s 1995 income was bolstered by a winning ticket that apparently was not part of any scheme. According to a federal investigator, Greulich cashed a Pick-6 ticket at Del Mar in September of ’95 for a track-record $1 million.