A Wayne County couple have each entered pleas for their roles in running a multi-county illegal sports betting operation in southeast Michigan and filing false tax returns.
John Zunich, 70, and Ellen Jane Zunich, 68, both of Westland, entered pleas for felony charges before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge David Groner.
Attorney General Bill Schuette said the couple was charged after a joint investigation with the Westland Police Department and the Michigan Gaming Control Board was launched -- based on a tip.
The joint investigation found that John Zunich took straight bets as a bookie between Dec. 2, 2002 and May 1, 2012. Further investigation also established that Zunich printed football betting cards at ArtCraft Printing in Detroit, of which he was the owner and operator. Zunich would print college and professional betting cards and distribute them across multiple contacts in multiple counties, including Wayne, Oakland and Macomb. Zunich primarily focused on college and professional football betting, he also coordinated bets on college basketball as well.
Ellen Zunich, handled all of the bookkeeping for both the legitimate aspects of the Detroit printing business and the illegal gambling operation.
John Zunich pleaded guilty to one count of conducting criminal enterprises (racketeering), a 20 year felony, and no contest to one count of failure to file/false taxes, a five year felony.
Ellen Zunich pleaded no contest to one count of failure to file/false taxes, a five year felony.
In a separate criminal forfeiture proceeding, Groner authorized the forfeiture of $609,000 in Zunich funds believed to be derived from the proceeds of the illegal gambling operation.
The funds will go to the Westland Police Department.
The Zunich's sentencing is set for Nov. 5.