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Pair spared prison in Legion gambling

K. Brooks
L. Brooks

– A couple involved in an illegal gambling operation at a local American Legion post pleaded guilty Wednesday.

Lana Brooks, 55, pleaded guilty to corrupt business influence. A plea agreement calls for her to receive a suspended four-year sentence with two years served on probation, according to court documents.

She was ordered to pay $200,000 restitution to American Legion Post 330 in New Haven, according to court documents, but if she can pay $40,000 by her June 18 sentencing, she will meet her restitution obligation.

Her husband, Kenneth Brooks, 64, pleaded guilty to aiding unlawful charity gaming. An aiding theft charge was dropped.

He was given a one-year suspended sentence with a year on probation.

Prosecutors charged Lana Brooks and Steven Bouse, 60, who both allegedly managed the games, with corrupt business influence, theft, unlawful charity gaming and professional gambling.

The other charges against Lana Brooks were dropped in exchange for her guilty plea, documents said.

They were among five New Haven residents arrested and charged in September after a probe of charity bingo games at the Legion post.

James E. Schultz, 68, pleaded guilty last week to unlawful charity gaming contracting and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation. An additional theft charge was dismissed. Schultz must also pay $10,000 in restitution to American Legion Post 330, according to court records.

John Gahan, 68, also admitted last week to aiding corrupt business influence in connection with the case. When he is sentenced in May, he faces a suspended four-year prison sentence and four years on probation, according to court documents.

Bouse’s case is pending.