Boxing promoter accuses state officials of racketeering

By Chris Dickerson and Kyla Asbury | May 15, 2015

CHARLESTON – A boxing promoter is accusing three West Virginia public officials of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

Christopher MacCorkle Smith and ACR Promotions are doing business as "Rough N' Rowdy Brawl" and "Ruckus in the Cage."

Steven Allred, Douglas E. Pauley and Brian Simpson were named as defendants in the suit.

Over the course of 19 years, the plaintiffs have developed the "Rough N' Rowdy Brawl" in southern West Virginia, according to a complaint filed May 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia

Since February 2009, instead of promoting the fighting sports, developing safety programs for fighters and training programs for officials, members of the West Virginia Athletic Commission have focused their attention on personal gain and graft, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants have hired family members who are paid by the promoters; demanded fees in excess of the authorized fees set by statute which must be paid by the promoters; hired more officials than required or necessary who must be paid by promoters; demanded VIP passes for family members and friends of commissioners; demanded VIP passes for business associates and political friends of the commissioners and their appointed officials; and unethically assigned themselves as referees and judges in prominent professional boxing matches.

Since February 2009, members of the commission unlawfully required the plaintiffs to pay more than the statutory amount, according to West Virginia code, and have extorted property and money from the plaintiffs in violation of the U.S. Constitution, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants actions were racketeering and are subject to RICO. The 41-page complaint lists 61 separate incidents of alleged racketeering.

The plaintiffs are seeking actual damages in the amount of $300,000 and $500,000 in damages for annoyance, inconvenience, harassment, humiliation and defamation. They are being represented by Richard Neely, Michael O. Callaghan and Joshua R. Martin of Neely & Callaghan.

The case is assigned to District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 2:15-cv-06026

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