Friday February 15,2013 : ONLINE SPORTS BETTING CRACK-DOWN IN HONOLULU
Dozens charged and arrested
Hawaii News Now reports that around twenty-four residents have been charged or arrested on charges related to offshore online betting.
Honolulu car salesman Terrence Ching (40) reportedly pleaded guilty to one count of making illegal bets and one count of filing a false tax return Friday.
Ching, acting as a go-between, is alleged to have handled millions of dollars in online bets placed on internet gambling sites operating out of Costa Rica.
The criminal complaint said Federal Authorities seized around $60 632 from Ching's bank account and an additional $330 483 in cash from his home. Seven firearms, gold, platinum and diamond jewellery including five Rolex watches and $245 000 in markers were also seized by the FBI.
Legal representation for some of those charged said her clients were unaware that online betting was illegal.
"This is something that people in Hawaii have been doing in Hawaii for a very long time .. forever. It includes business people, doctors, law enforcement, sales people, all kinds of people," said lawyer Megan Kau.
"Nobody would have guessed that it would come to something like this."
Ching's sentencing is scheduled for June where the courts will decide on a possible maximum sentence of up to two years for the wagering charge and three years for the tax evasion charge.
Ching’s cooperation in further investigations involving the online gambling sites named as malibusport.com and betislandsports.com form part of a plea deal with Federal Prosecutor Larry Butrick.