SW Mich. business owner sentenced in illegal gambling case

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CASS COUNTY, Mich. — The owner of George’s Café was forced to pay nearly $1,200 in fines after pleading guilty to felony gambling charges in Cassopolis.

Robert G. George, 40, of Bristol Ind., pleaded guilty March 14 after authorities found he was running illegal gambling activities inside the business.

The Michigan Attorney General’s office and the Michigan Gaming Control Board investigated and it led to a raid in June 2015.

“Michigan law does not permit unlicensed, unregulated gambling establishments and the unwanted crime they bring,” said Richard Kalm, MGCB executive director.

Officials said the investigation began in March 2015 after anonymous tips were received about illegal slot machines at George’s Café, a bar and restaurant in Union, about 45 miles southwest of Kalamazoo.

Heather Cradolph, 34, of Union, also pleaded guilty to a one-year misdemeanor count of gambling activities and was sentenced in April to a $175 fine and $125 in court costs and fees. Cradolph was an employee of the cafe.

On June 3, George was ordered to pay a $500 fine and $698 in court costs and fees and to forfeit seized property, including $2,351 in cash, $700 worth of pre-paid gift cards and five illegal gaming machines.

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