BREAKING: Former Indiana basketball player Joe Hillman says he is confident he won't be charged

Tom Brew

INDIANAPOLIS — Former Indiana basketball star Joe Hillman said in a four-minute telephone call Wednesday that he and his attorney are confident he will not be charged in a local gambling ring case where he is tied to the ringleader who was charged with six gambling-related felonies.

"I really can't comment on any of this right now, but I do not have a gambling problem of any kind and we are confident that I won't be charged with anything,'' Hillman said Wednesday morning from his insurance and investment office in Indianapolis. "I just can't say anything more right now.''

Hillman was a key part of Indiana's last national championship team in 1987 and played for the Hoosiers from 1984-89. New Palestine businessman Bret A. Wells has been charged with six felony counts, including professional gambling, corrupt business influence and two counts of promoting professional gambling and two counts of theft.

Details in the probable cause affidavit were gathered following years-long investigations by officers with the Indiana Gaming Commission, the state police and the IRS.

The affidavit states that an informant who was a former business partner of Wells told officers that Wells operated the sports gambling operation from his office and had taken in more than $17 million in bets since 2016. 

He made more than $1.8 million in profit, the report says. According to the affidavit, Hillman was seen meeting with Wells on several occasions while Wells was under surveillance by Gaming Commission officers. 

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