Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Former Smokey's owner agrees to gambling ban

BISMARCK - The man whose company briefly owned Smokey's, a defunct West Fargo steakhouse business, has settled a lawsuit with the attorney general by agreeing to never again be involved in North Dakota charitable gambling.

BISMARCK - The man whose company briefly owned Smokey's, a defunct West Fargo steakhouse business, has settled a lawsuit with the attorney general by agreeing to never again be involved in North Dakota charitable gambling.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem announced Monday that his office had resolved a case against Gary S. Minard and the IQ Fund. His office filed suit in 2004, claiming Minard's IQ Fund had obtained a charitable gambling license by fraud by misrepresenting that it had $57,000 in trust funds for charitable distribution.

Minard's attorney, Kent Morrow of Bismarck, criticized Stenehjem's announcement as politically worded.

"He certainly put a political slant on it so close to the election," Morrow said. He said Minard didn't admit wrongdoing.

Stenehjem's release also said Minard was "forced to distribute $64,546 to charity" and pay a $15,000 civil penalty to his office.

ADVERTISEMENT

Morrow said Minard distributed the money several months ago to the Bismarck State College Foundation, the charity he always intended IQ Fund's proceeds to benefit. He said Minard has no interest in again being involved in charitable gambling, the reason he agreed to a lifetime ban.

Stenehjem said that after IQ Fund bought the steakhouse business and obtained a charitable gaming license, his Gaming Division concluded Minard dishonestly obtained the license, "filed false gaming tax returns, illegally transferred trust funds, made illegal deposits and withdrawals from corporate accounts, set up a sham bank account in Minnesota to deceive the attorney general, failed to provide information and failed to make required charitable distributions."

The IQ Fund surrendered its gaming license shortly after. The state Racing Commission denied IQ Fund an off-track betting license.

In 2005, Burleigh County charged Minard with a misdemeanor, alleging he skimmed money from IQ Fund gaming operations. Morrow said the Burleigh County state's attorney recently dismissed the case.

The steakhouse never reopened after the city of West Fargo shut off its water in fall 2004 due to an unpaid $3,000 water bill.

West Fargo City Administrator Jim Brownlee said Monday that the building's owner, who had leased it to the IQ Fund, eventually paid the IQ Fund's water bill. The building remains unoccupied and for sale, he said. Morrow said Minard lives in Bismarck but works in Minneapolis.

for Crawford Capital, a venture capital firm.

What To Read Next
Host Bryan Piatt is joined by Matt Entz, head coach of the North Dakota State Bison football team, to discuss the pressures of leading the program and how mental health is addressed with his players.
Artificial intelligence can now act as an artist or a writer. Does that mean AI is ready to play doctor? Many institutions, including Mayo Clinic, believe that AI is ready to become a useful tool.
Columnist Carol Bradley Bursack lists the various reason why some older adults may begin to shuffle as they age.
The Buffalo Bills safety who suffered a cardiac arrest on Monday Night Football in January is urging people to learn how to save lives the way his was saved.