A retired Los Angeles County firefighter pleaded guilty today to running an illegal sports gambling business that authorities said operated in part from a firehouse while he was on duty.
Retired fire Capt. Tod Hipsher, 51, entered the plea in federal court in Santa Ana. He will be sentenced on June 2 and is looking at a maximum of five years in prison.
The investigation of Hipsher began in 2009 following a tip from the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
Hipsher’s clients had the option of betting online or using a 1-800 number, prosecutors said.
In 2011, undercover agents met at least twice with Hipsher at a fire station in Bell to conduct gambling business, said Mark Speidel, a special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s homeland security investigations. Hipsher’s home was searched in March 2013, and $200,000 in cash was seized during the raid.
Another Orange County man, Hipsher’s partner in the business, has pleaded guilty to running an illegal gambling business on another site and will be sentenced later this year.
Hipsher told authorities he made between $200,000 and $300,000 during the past few years. Hipsher and federal authorities reached a plea agreement in October but he did not plead guilty in court until Monday. The delay allowed his client to retire at the end of last year.
For the first time since 2004, both Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. are ranked when the Bedlam Series tips off tonight in Norman Oklahoma.
Oklahoma State looks for its first win in Norman since 2004 on Monday when the 12th-ranked Cowboys face No. 25 Oklahoma, which has won four of its last five. The Cowboys bounced back from a two-point loss at Kansas with an 81-75 win over West Virginia on Saturday, despite leading scorer Marcus Smart fouling out after being held to a season-low four points. With Smart a non-factor against West Virginia, 6-7 wing Le’Bryan Nash drew high praise after scoring a career-high 29 points and collecting nine rebounds. Guard Markel Brown averages 16.5 points and 5.4 rebounds and became the ninth player in school history with 100 career blocks on Saturday.
Oklahoma has won three straight, holding their opponents to 66.0 points per game in that span. The Sooners led the entire game and limited Texas Tech to 28.6 percent shooting from long range in a 74-65 victory Saturday. Guard Buddy Hield has led the Sooners in scoring in five of their seven Big 12 games, including a team-high 18 points against Texas Tech. Forward Cameron Clark averages a team-high 17 points and 5.8 rebounds for the Sooners, who rank third in the Big 12 in scoring at 83.8 points per game. Oklahoma State (84.3) is ranked second in the conference.
“It’s Bedlam,” Nash said after Saturday’s win. “It don’t get no better than this. It’s two good teams. We’re going into their house. We really want to win. We’ve got to give it to Oklahoma, they’ve got some good wins, and it’s going to be tough.”
The teams will meet again in Stillwater on Feb. 15.
- Over is 4-0 in the last four games between these two schools
- The home team is 4-1 against the spread in the last five meetings.
- Oklahoma State is 1-5 against the spread in the last six games against the Sooners.
- Oklahoma’s last eight games have been decided by single digits.
- Oklahoma State’s losses have come by a combined 10 points to Kansas, Kansas State and Memphis.
The Pitt Panthers welcome the cornerstone ACC basketball program to campus as the 19th ranked Panthers face off against Duke tonight. Pittsburgh is tied for second with Virginia in the ACC, with Duke close behind in fourth place. There are now 15 teams in the league. Duke, 1-2 on the road in conference so far, has already lost on the road to Notre Dame and Clemson.
Duke as won four straight games and are playing outstanding defense in the process. The Blue Devils have allowed just 57 points per game over that four game stretch. It doesn’t get any easier for Duke, which travels to the Carrier Dome on Saturday. Two losses would all but take the Blue Devils out of the conference title race by the first week of February. Duke is led by freshman forward Jabari Parker, who averages 17.7 points per game and eight rebounds. He has six double-doubles on the season.
Pittsburgh is led by senior guard Lamar Patterson. Patterson is shooting 51.3% from the field and leading the team in scoring with 17.9 PPG, assists (4.7 per game) and three pointers. The two teams have played 12 times in their history, with each side winning six times. They have played each other just once since 1980, a Pitt victory in 2008. The crowd is expected to be crazy tonight. Tickets were going for as much as $1,200 on the secondary market on Sunday afternoon, good enough to pay for season tickets and then some.
Duke is a four point underdog to Pittsburgh with a total set at 138.5. The line opened up Pitt -3.5 and 142. 61% of the betting public is on Duke, with the under seeing 54% of the action.
* Duke is 6-2 against the spread in its last eight games following a straight up victory.
* Pittsburgh is 8-2-1 against the spread in its last 11 games versus the ACC.
* Under is 7-3 in Duke’s last 10 games following an against the spread win.
* Over is 5-1 in Pittsburgh’s last six games overall.