BetOnSports Pleads Guilty to U.S. Federal Charges
One portion of the BetOnSports legal saga resolved itself on Thursday, though another part marches on. The U.S. District Attorney's Office in St. Louis announced that it had received a guilty plea from BetOnSports on federal racketeering charges, the last part of a 22-count indictment against the company.
Prosecutor Catherine Hanaway led the U.S.'s ongoing battle against BetOnSports, having already received a civil settlement from BoS last November that barred the firm from doing business in the U.S. BoS remained defiant toward Hanaway and U.S. in the criminal portion of the case prior to this settlement, being subject to a $5,000 daily fine and refusing to send legal representation to St. Louis, citing the U.S. court's lack of jurisdictional authority over the UK-based firm.
The guilty plea by BoS involves a $500,000 fine and possible forfeitures, if assets can be identified to be seized. As part of last year's civil settlement, BoS was under order to refund U.S.-based wagers and frozen account balances. Former U.S. patrons now appear unlikely to ever receive any compensation, even assuming that other sizeable BoS assets remained to be liquidated. Jeffrey Demerath, an attorney appearing on BoS' behalf in St. Louis, announced that the firm would soon cease operations. "It is going to be wound up and closed down," Demerath said.
In addition, the deal calls for current BetOnSports executives to testify in the criminal cases against former BoS executives Gary Kaplan and David Carruthers, and possibly others, in separate but related cases which are unaffected by the BoS plea on the corporate charges. By doing so, BetOnSports will avoid further criminal prosecution.
U.S. Attorney Hanaway quickly issued a statement championing her own efforts against BetOnSports and its chief executives. "This plea, combined with the terms of the civil junction should put an end to the BETonSPORTS illegal gambling empire," said Hanaway.