Tipped off by the Hawaii Police Department, federal agents this morning arrested seven people for operating an illegal gambling operation in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island.

Those arrested included:

  • Eric Ford, age 45

  • Marlo Banasan, 34

  • Matthew Phillips, 39

  • Kendale Limahai, 47

  • Robert Bland„ 35

  • Jonah Yardley, 37

  • Trevor Carter, 24

The grand jury also charged Eric Ford and Barbara Ford, 44, with 25 counts of structuring financial transactions to evade federal reporting requirements. 

According to the indictment, Eric Ford has been running an illegal gambling business for at least the last two years, from November 2009 until Nov. 20, 2012. There was sports betting, gambling events including poker games and craps, and use of an offshore gaming website. 

The other six defendants, not including Barbara Ford, allegedly assisted Eric Ford in taking bets, collecting gambling debts and payouts to winners. 

If convicted of gambling and conspiracy, each defendant faces up to five years in prison, per count.