Monday May 9,2016 : PIONEERING U.S. SPORTS BETTING OPERATOR SENTENCED (Update)
Haden Ware avoids jail time but is on 6 months probation.
Haden Ware (41), a pioneer in online sports betting who evaded prosecution for more than 13 years by staying out of his native United States until recently, has successfully weathered the gambling conspiracy prosecution, emerging with a 6-month probation but no jail time.
Ware's involvement with World Sports Exchange brought him wealth but also the attention of the US authorities, leading to a life in exile as a fugitive from US justice until his recent surrender He entered a guilty plea in January and was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan.
The Reuters news agency reports that prosecutors had sought up to a year in prison for Ware, but the judge rejected the prosecution's call, saying that Ware had just a small role in the sports betting enterprise, which illegally took bets from Americans.
"Why you waited so long to come back to the United States, only you know," Pauley told Ware. "But I sympathize with the fact that this hung around your neck all these years."
Ware told the court that he took responsibility for his actions as a 20-something, and was "extremely grateful to cast that weight behind me and move forward past it."
He was involved in an Antigua-based multi-million dollar enterprise along with Jay Cohen and Steve Schillinger. Cohen subsequently returned to the States in 2000 to fight Wire Act charges, lost and was sentenced to 21 months in prison
Ware was indicted in absentia in 2002 but remained offshore as a fugitive, and when WSE folded in 2013 and Schillinger died he worked in several European and South American countries in legal gambling and other companies.