Tuesday September 10,2013 :  NEW JERSEY MAN PLEADS GUILTY ON INTERNET GAMBLING CHARGE
 
Case has its roots in the 2010 investigation of Beteagle.com
 
Fifty-year-old Newark resident Kenneth Baran is the latest defendant to plead guilty to online gambling charges involving the Costa Rica-based Beteagle.com website, which was the subject of a federal investigation back in 2010.
 
14 persons allegedly associated with an organised crime ring have been charged in the case, with several admitting guilt.
 
Baran appeared before Newark Federal Judge Claire Cecchi Monday and pleaded guilty to illegal sports betting and aiding and abetting.
 
Having satisfied herself that Baran understood the nature of the charges and the gravity of his admission, Judge Cecchi scheduled sentencing for January 28, 2014 at 11 a.m. in chambers. Baran faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
 
In 2010, federal officials investigated Beteagles and concluded that the 14 defendants used the site to run an illegal gambling ring across northern New Jersey in a scheme that also involved extortion, theft, interstate transportation of stolen property and illegal gambling.
 
The investigation found the group accepted bets through the website and collected on those bets, officials said. If a bettor could not or refused to pay, members of the crew would threaten and extort the bettor to collect those debts, officials said. 
 
The cases against a number of other defendants in the case have been granted a continuance "to allow the parties to complete plea negotiations," according to court documents.