1/9/10 – Making the headlines late Friday was a Justice Department press release advising that David Carruthers, the middle aged formed CEO of the now defunct BetOnSports online gambling empire, has been sentenced to 33 months in prison on charges related to the activities of the once-mighty BoS in accepting sports bets online from US punters.
Carruthers, a British citizen, had earlier entered a plea bargain, later changing his plea to not guilty, and then changing it back to a guilty plea.
The sentencing brings to a close a saga that started bacxk in July 2006 when Carruthers was detained at a US airport whilst he was in transit to Costa Rica, where his company was based. The arrest, on a sealed warrant, started a series of moves which culminated in Carruthers spending over three and a half years under house arrest in St. Louis, and in BetOnSports’ bankruptcy owing an estimated $16 million.
The founder of BoS, Gary Kaplan was recently sentenced to 51 months imprisonoment, also after a long period in detention.
Assistant United States Attorney Steven Holtshouser said in the DoJ statement: "The prosecution and conviction of Carruthers is significant to the Government's efforts at enforcement of U.S. laws against offshore internet and telephone sports wagering businesses, because Carruthers was both a foreign national and a top executive of BetOnSports.
"Previously, executives, owners and investors believed that they were immune from the reach of U.S. law enforcement; even their business plans were directly aimed at the U.S. market. Both the conviction of and sentence handed down against Mr. Carruthers should send a message to any foreign business conducting illegal activities in the United States, that geography does not render it untouchable."
"Illegal internet gaming operations continue to be areas of concern for IRS," added Toni Weirauch, Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation. "With our law enforcement partners, IRS will continue to play an enforcement role in the illegal gaming industry and other illegal offshore activity."
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