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Former boxing champ arrested over Vegas gambling debt

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:27 p.m. HST, Mar 03, 2014

CLEARWATER, Fla. » A former world champion boxer was arrested in Florida on a felony theft and bad check warrant stemming from unpaid IOUs at a Las Vegas Strip casino.

The Florida Highway Patrol arrested Antonio Tarver on Saturday night after a traffic stop.

The 45-year-old Tarver was held on $215,425 bail following his arrest on a warrant issued last June in Las Vegas, officials said. It was unclear whether he had an attorney.

Tarver, who lives in the Tampa Bay area, was named in a criminal complaint filed in Las Vegas alleging that he failed to repay three casino loans totaling $200,000 obtained in July 2012 at the posh Wynn Las Vegas resort.

Nevada treats written casino IOUs, known as markers, like fraudulent bad checks. State law lets prosecutors collect a 10 percent processing and prosecution fee with any settlement.

Most cases are resolved before charges are filed. Some are resolved when the amount owed is paid as bail.

Jake Merback, the prosecutor handling the case in Las Vegas, said Monday he hadn't heard from Tarver representatives. Merback said authorities in Florida told him Tarver hadn't immediately posted bail to be freed.

Tarver's professional career included 30 victories and six losses, and he won a bronze medal as a light heavyweight at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

He won various professional light heavyweight titles against opponents, including Montel Griffin in 2003, Glencoffe Johnson and Roy Jones Jr. in 2004 and Glen Johnson in 2005.

Tarver played a heavyweight boxer in the 2006 movie "Rocky Balboa" and has served as a commentator for Showtime Sports Boxing.

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kainalu wrote:
Casinos can be addicting. If there were casinos here, I'd be in financial trouble, the allure too much to resist. At least when I go to Vegas, I know I'm leaving in a couple of days, my normal stay usually 3-nights.
on March 3,2014 | 04:48PM
inHilo wrote:
It's good you know your weakness. I keep telling myself to buy stocks online but it seems too much like gambling to me. Oh, well.
on March 4,2014 | 05:25AM
Anonymous wrote:
That is one sleepy dude.
on March 4,2014 | 05:29AM
lokela wrote:
Usually these guys don't have brains to invest their monies. Just gambling and living on the high end.
on March 4,2014 | 05:36AM
BigOpu wrote:
Hmmm...giving the prosecuter a cut of the settlement after prosecution is not a bad idea. Maybe we can give HI prosecutors an incentive if they successfully put our chronic criminals behind bars.
on March 4,2014 | 08:21AM
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