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Black eye for Jacksonville?

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Updated: 3/15/2013 9:07 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- The veterans charity scandal is taking down elected officials, as well as the city's reputation.

There are dozens of faces behind an elaborate scheme police call a tangled web of money laundering and corruption. Florida's Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigned earlier this week. It has local ties that put the focus on Jacksonville. "It doesn't shed a good light on Jacksonville," said taxpayer Daniel Petri.

The investigation centers around the Allied Veterans of the World Inc. and Affiliates. It's a non-profit led by Jacksonville's Jerry Bass. Police say the mastermind was Jacksonville attorney Kelly Mathis.

People close to the investigation tell Action News that Jacksonville is the hub for illegal gambling. John Sowinski with nocasinos.org says it was not a shock to him. "For a lot of people who live in Jacksonville, it may come as a surprise the epicenter is within the community, and they'll be relieved that law enforcement is stepping up to do something about it," said Sowinski.

While it's shedding a dark light over the city now, taxpayers we talked to don't think it will have an impact long term. "It was all over the country, not just here, this was the center. I don't think it'll hurt tourism in the city," said Petri.

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