Texas resident jailed for over 2 years for illegal gambling operation


A 46-year-old resident of Corpus Chisti, Texas, is to serve over two years in jail after being convicted of conducting an illegal gambling business.

In an update issued by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, Nathan Nichols, who pleaded guilty on March 21, 2022, was also sentenced for conspiring to steal US government property.

Handing down the sentence, the court noted the dangers and potential damage that could be caused, with 27 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by two years of supervised release. 

In addition, he was ordered to pay over $1m in restitution, with $2.18m also forfeited, as part of guilty pleas, in proceeds from the illegal activity.

The former of these investigations, conducted by the FBI and the Corpus Christi Police Department, saw the US Attorney’s Office state that Nichols was the co-owner of Theo’s Bar and owner/operator of Lady Luck, each of which were said to contain illegal gaming devices.

Both establishments were said to feature play by using computers and monitors rather than casino-style equipment, with the action of the slot-machine reels being simulated on a computer screen rather than on mechanical reels. Those playing placed bets before each spin and received winnings in cash. 

In a separate case, undertaken by Homeland Security Investigations and the US Army Criminal Investigation Division, saw Nichols admit to conspiring with others to steal sensitive army property valued at $2.17m.

Upon executing a search warrant at his address, Authorities reported discovering military equipment including laser range finders, thermal scopes, night vision scopes, night vision goggles and laser aiming devices. All of the property belonged to the US Army. 

Nichols will remain in custody pending transfer to a US Bureau of Prisons facility, which will be determined in the near future.