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IRS goes after former BetonSports founder for an additional $36 million

Sunday March 16,2014 :  MORE PAIN FOR CONVICTED ONLINE GAMBLING OPERATOR
 
IRS goes after former BetonSports founder for an additional $36 million.
 
By the time US enforcement and tax authorities have finished with him BetonSports online gambling site founder Gary Kaplan (55) will have "contributed" $79 million to government coffers, made up of $43 million ceded to government as part of his plea deal, and a further $36 million squeezed from him through an IRS civil action.
 
These heavy penalties were discussed in a Forbes article over the weekend penned by Tony Nitti, an independent expert tax and legal writer after studying a recent Tax Court decision in Kaplan v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2014-43.
 
Nitti calculates that Kaplan's pre-penalties tax bill of $24 million in the affair translates into approximately $75 to $160 million of taxable income, depending on the character. 
 
Nitti sets the scene for his assessment by recapping the events following the federal bust of Costa Rica-based BetonSports
 
"Understand, sports betting is illegal in the U.S.because it is an evil, duplicitous act. (Unless of course, you’re in Vegas, in which case, feel free to parlay the Cowboys and 49ers to your heart’s content! No hypocrisy there.)," the author comments in general.
 
After pursuing Kaplan for some time, the federal authorities finally arrested him in the Dominican Republican and brought him back to the United States to face charges of illegal bookmaking, racketeering, mail fraud, and using wire communication to transmit bets, felonies which carry penalties of 75 to 100 years imprisonment and the possible criminal forfeiture of $180 million.
 
Two years later, Kaplan entered into a plea agreement with the government which resulted in a deal through which he would serve 41 to 51 months in prison and forfeit nearly $44 million to the federal government.
 
Importantly, the plea specifically provided that no further criminal charges could be brought against the taxpayer...but there was a caveat that the agreement did not limit the rights of the United States of America to take any civil, civil tax, or administrative action against the taxpayer.
 
This was to prove an expensive clause for Kaplan, but he had every opportunity to avoid its consequences, including specific guidance from the federal judge approving his criminal conviction, who asked Kaplan whether he fully understood the implications of the caveat, which exposed him to civil tax actions by the IRS.
 
Kaplan apparently said he understood the caveat and wished to go ahead with his plea deal.
 
The consequences became apparent shortly thereafter, when the IRS looked at Kaplan's tax affairs, especially a 2004 transfer of his shares in BetonSports to several trusts in the Channel Isle of Jersey.
 
Following the company’s PLO, Kaplan's trusts sold approximately 42 million shares of BetOnSports for $97 million at a time when he had no basis in the company’s shares. He allegedly failed to report any of the gain – or file a tax return - in either 2004 or 2005.
 
The IRS concluded that the Jersey trusts were grantor trusts for U.S. tax purposes and should therefore have been reported, assessing capital gains taxes owing on the trust funds at $24 million.
 
But the pain didn't end there; the taxman added a further $12 million in associated penalties, bringing the total owed to $36 million.
 
There was no happy ending for Kaplan; Nitti writes:
 
"Faced with a $36 million tax bill, the taxpayer argued that the IRS was precluded from bringing a civil tax action against him under the plea agreement. The Tax Court, armed with the sworn testimony from the plea hearing, had all the proof it needed that this was not the case.
 
"As a result, on top of the $43 million the taxpayer was forced to cede to the government as part of his plea deal, he was also held responsible for an additional $36 million in tax and penalties, proving once again that crime does in fact pay. For the IRS."
 
http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonynitti/2014/03/15/online-sportsbook-founder-held-liable-for-36-million-in-tax-and-penalties/

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Tain Fast Bet - Our readers will recall Tain recently increased the number of live events it covers each month to 23,000, covering both traditional markets such as football, tennis and US sports and the more obscure curling, biathlon and Water Polo.

Olympic Entertainment Group Mobile Gaming - In its full-year 2016 report, Olympic Entertainment Group (OEG) has informed the establishment of a Malta-based company registered to facilitate its intended expansion into remote gambling.

Circus Evolution HD Slot - Malta-based content provider World Match has released its first title of 2017, “Circus Evolution HD”, a 5-reel, 3-row, circus-themed adventure offering Free Spins, Wilds and a Bonus Game.

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17 Crown people still detained - Reports from China over the weekend suggest that the 17 Crown people still detained could be looking at another twelve months of imprisonment as investigations into their alleged and still unspecified crimes drag on

SB1400 Virginia Poker Skill Game Bill - Her bill SB1400 is currently with the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee, whose 15 members will decide whether to progress it or condemn the Senator to another year of failure.

Pennsylvania Video Gaming Association - With the focus on Pennsylvania as the most likely next US state to legalize online gambling as part of a general gambling expansion measure, reporters noted this week the emergence of a new lobbying group in the state - the Pennsylvania Video Gaming Association.

Stiffer Problem Gambling Penalties in UK - The Guardian newspaper reports that the UK Gambling Commission plans to unveil new enforcement strategies on problem gambling and money laundering prevention this month, laying down tougher penalties for operators who fail to tackle these issues.

Malaysian police Destroy over 5000 Gambling Computers - Malaysian police in Kajang have destroyed 5,042 computer sets seized in online gambling raids over the past two years, explaining that the action is designed to take the machines out of circulation.

Spartan Poker vs SpartanPoker name War - Pokerguru, which owns the brand SpartanPoker.com, has threatened to sue the Indian Poker Championship over its use of the title Spartan Poker, and recently published a notification that it is not associated with the IPC version of the brand.

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