Reports from WNBC-TV this week reveal that a former employee of the now defunct Costa Rica based online gambling group BetonSports has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud in a Manhattan court. The charges have been laid by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York against Patrick Kalonji (27) from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and more recently Canada.
The prosecution claims that whilst working in the credit card department of BetonSports, Kalonji was part of an identity theft ring and helped to steal personal information of at least 150 clients. Kalonji was arrested in Philadelphia over the weekend and faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine if convicted, said U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia.
Kalonji is charged with sharing personal information – names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers – with other ring members for various frauds, such as making purchases over the Internet.
Kalonji has been remanded and may apply for bail at a later date.
Last spring, BetOnSports.com pleaded guilty (see previous InfoPowa reports) to federal racketeering charges and agreed to cooperate in a St. Louis federal case against the firm's founder Gary Kaplan and others. The gambling firm closed in 2006 after a US Department of Justice action, which included the incarceration of CEO David Carruthers whilst he was at a US airport in transit to Costa Rica. Carruthers still remains under house arrest awaiting a trial.