Judge tosses some Allied Veterans counts

Headline Goes Here AP photo/John Raoux, pool

Kelly Mathis (center) stands with his attorneys Lee Lockett, left, and Mitch Stone as jurors enter the courtroom for opening statements of his trail at the Seminole County Courthouse.

SANFORD, Fla. - A Florida judge has thrown out about a third of the charges against a Jacksonville attorney accused of using a veterans group as a front for a $300 million gambling operation.

Judge Kenneth Lester on Tuesday threw out more than 50 money laundering charges against Kelly Mathis. A jury will still decide whether he is guilty of about 100 other charges related to Allied Veterans of the World.

Prosecutors say Mathis helped build a network of almost 50 Internet cafes throughout Florida and that very little of the proceeds reached veterans.

But defense attorneys say Mathis only provided legal advice to Allied Veterans.

The arrest of Mathis and 56 other defendants last May caused the Florida Legislature to ban Internet cafes.

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