FF12: Former US Attorney says gambling investigation likely nearing a close

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) The FBI investigation into illegal gambling and public corruption is likely coming to a close, according to one former U.S. Attorney.

Randy Rathbun who now works as a lawyer says the release of indictments, charges, and names means the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office have likely gathered much of what they need.

"I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see a big indictment come down one of these days," Rathbun said.

FactFinder 12 showed you several documents outlining guilty pleas, indictments and charges against several Kansas men including Danny Chapman, Daven Flax, Bruce Mackey, Michael Zajkowski, Michael Frederiksen and Brock Wedman.

On January 12, Flax and Chapman pleaded guilty in federal court to illegal gambling operations charges and tax evasion.

Not even a week later, indictments and charges were unsealed including the other Kansas men that involved lying to the FBI and obstructing law enforcement.

FactFinder 12 asked Rathbun why the indictments would be sealed until this point.

"Any time the AUSA or the FBI is concerned somebody might flee the jurisdiction or that evidence might be destroyed or anything like that, it's very simple and not terribly unusual to seal an indictment," Rathbun said. "Or if they're talking with potential cooperating witnesses and they don't want it out in the public record that somebody's been indicted."

Now that those documents have been made public, Rathbun said it's likely the investigating agencies aren't worried about those things anymore or have what they need. He said the FBI usually works from the bottom up on these big cases and it takes time.

FactFinder 12 asked Rathbun about the charges released so far. He said they are minimal and show the FBI may not be finished. Specifically, he spoke about the charge of lying to the FBI Wedman and Frederiksen are both facing.

"It's used as a way, any time a federal agency investigates a criminal offense and you lie to the FBI, just lying to the FBI is another offense," Rathbun said. "That's used to be able to get somebody to flip over on who they're looking for."

Rathbun made it clear he doesn't know the inner workings of this case because he no longer works as the U.S. Attorney, but he's basing his opinions on his time working in that office and with the FBI.

"The prosecutor has a lot of tools they can use and they're using about all of them in this case it seems to me like," Rathbun said.