2 indicted for running alleged gambling ring out of bar

Rex Cunningham and Brian Hoyle of Springfield charged with loansharking, money laundering

WWLP file image from April 2016 shows O'Brien's Corner on Page Boulevard as state police were there conducting an investigation.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Two Springfield residents are being charged with money laundering, loansharking, and other charges in connection with an alleged illegal gambling ring they were running out of a bar.

A grand jury indicted Rex Cunningham, 65, and Brian Hoyle, 59 on Wednesday, according to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. The AG’s office alleges that the two accepted bets from patrons at O’Brien’s Corner on Page Boulevard, then arranged them through a sports gambling website they were managing out of the bar.

They are also accused of collecting gambling debts at rates between 150 and 200%. Cunningham and Hoyle were allegedly owed thousands of dollars by gamblers at the time of the investigation.

“The charges as alleged by our evidence show that these defendants targeted people vulnerable to gambling addictions, profited through usurious interest charged on their debts, and laundered the profits in an attempt to avoid detection,” said Massachusetts State Police Col. Richard McKeon.

Our 22News cameras were rolling back in April, when state troopers could be seen inside the bar and the restaurant. At the time, the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office told 22News that it was an ongoing investigation, about which they could not comment.

Police activity at O’Brien’s Corner; DA: “Ongoing investigation”

Cunningham and Hoyle will be arraigned at Hampden Superior Court in Springfield at a later date on the following charges:

  • Money laundering
  • Organizing and promoting illegal gaming
  • Registering bets
  • Using the telephone to register bets
  • Delivery to and from a person engaged in illegal gaming
  • Conspiracy to register bets
  • Loansharking (two counts)
  • Witness intimidation