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Idaho bar owner sent to prison, could lose resort

A Fruitland bar owner who pleaded guilty to income tax evasion, illegal gambling and conspiracy to commit money laundering was sentenced to nearly four years in prison and ordered to give up a small hotel he built in Mexico.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill sentenced Thomas Dale Overstreet, 67, to 46 months in prison on Dec. 5.

Overstreet entered his plea in August after a 2011 sting by Internal Revenue Service agents who posed as potential buyers of the bar where the gambling occurred.

Overstreet was getting ready to sell the bar and retire to his Flying High Resort, a five-room hotel that he has owned and developed since 1995 in La Paz, Mexico, the Idaho Statesman reported.

At sentencing in a Boise federal courtroom, the judge ordered Overstreet to pay more than $1.5 million in restitution and forfeit $2.4 million in illegal gambling profits.

“It was my arrogance that led me to evade my taxes, as well as engage in illegal gambling,” Overstreet said at his sentencing. “I wish I could turn the clock back.”

The fate of the Mexican property is uncertain.

Overstreet’s 20-year-old son, Dalaney Overstreet, could stake a claim to the property on the Sea of Cortez because he’s listed as its owner.

However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Hall, who handles federal forfeitures in Boise, said he would fight such a move.

Winmill previously ruled that Dalaney Overstreet, a Mexican citizen, was owner in name only and his father controlled the property.

In Idaho, Thomas Overstreet owned and operated Club 7 in Fruitland near the Oregon border, since at least 2000.

In 2005, Idaho State Police cited Overstreet for allowing gambling at the club. He pleaded guilty and paid a $3,000 fine. Authorities believe he didn’t stop the operation, instead making changes to better hide the illegal activity.

 

 

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