Former Astros, Indians Outfielder Trevor Crowe Charged With Tax Evasion in Illegal Gambling Scheme

Posted on: July 3, 2020, 12:02h. 

Last updated on: July 3, 2020, 02:05h.

Trevor Crowe — who spent parts of four seasons with two Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises — was charged Wednesday in the Northern District of Ohio on one count of income tax evasion stemming from his purported role in an illegal gambling enterprise.

Ex-Indians Outfielder Charged In Tax Evasion
Former Indians outfielder Trevor Crowe is facing an income tax evasion charge for his alleged role in an illegal gambling ring. (Image:

Last year, an Ohio grand jury handed down an indictment containing charges against Clinton Reider of Mentor-on-the-Lake, a Cleveland suburb, for his role in the illicit gambling ring. That indictment contained details about a co-conspirator, mentioning a former MLB player, but at that time, the document didn’t contain Crowe’s name.

“On or about October 10, 2016, in the District of Arizona, Defendant Trevor Crowe, a resident of Phoenix, Arizona, did willfully make and subscribe a United States Individual Income Tax Return (Form 1040) for the calendar year 2015, which was verified by a written declaration that it was made under penalties of perjury and filed with the Internal Revenue Service,” according to a document filed in the United States District Court – Northeastern District of Ohio.

Crowe has ties to Ohio because he played for the Cleveland Indians for the three of the four years he spent in the big leagues. He was drafted by the Houston Astros and played his rookie season with them.

Shady Dealings

Last year, the US Attorney’s Office brought charges against Reider, claiming he was running an unlicensed bookmaking operation since 2010 using offshore websites to take bets from gamblers. Prior to the proliferation of legitimate sports wagering in the US, local bookies used websites often operated out of Costa Rica, to log clients’ actions.

The 2019 indictment also claims Reider ran several high stakes underground poker games throughout the Cleveland area.

The feds are seeking forfeiture of Reider’s Mentor-on-the-Lake house and the land it sits on –- valued at a combined $645,000 –- because they claim the would-be bookmaker broke federal laws pertaining to transmission of gambling information and money laundering. On paper, the house is owned by Reider’s parents.

Crowe comes into the picture because the US Attorney’s Office believes a credit card held by the former baseball player was used to pay for $93,000 worth of renovations to Reider’s “McMansion.”

Sports wagering isn’t yet legal in the Buckeye State. But there’s momentum to change that, perhaps as soon as this year. Four of the five states Ohio borders – Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia – permit sports betting.

Speaking of Real Estate

Court documents don’t mention any effort to seize real estate owned by Crowe. But the ex-MLB player recently purchased a home for $3.225 million in the Phoenix area. His ties to that region stem from playing college ball at the University of Arizona. The price of that home is about twice Crowe’s pre-tax combined MLB earnings.

The US Attorney’s Office says Crowe purposefully misstated his 2015 income by not including earnings from the illegal gambling business.

If true, that’s a violation of Title 26, US Code, Section 7206(1). Sentences for one count of federal tax evasion can carry prison terms of up to five years and financial penalties of as much as $250,000 for individuals.