Ex-LA firefighter pleads guilty to illegal gambling

AMY TAXIN, Associated Press
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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A retired Los Angeles County firefighter has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of running an illegal sports gambling business that authorities say netted him hundreds of thousands of dollars and brought some bettors to financial ruin.

Retired fire Capt. Tod Hipsher entered the plea in federal court in Santa Ana on Monday. He is set to be sentenced on June 2.

Hipsher declined to comment.

Homeland security officials say Hipsher recruited gamblers and collected debts over 12 years for an online Costa Rica-based sportsbook that waged on events ranging from college basketball games to the Superbowl.

Authorities say they searched Hipsher’s Irvine home in March and seized $200,000 in cash. He retired from the fire department at the end of 2013.

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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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