Wednesday December 10,2014 : HEFTY PENALTIES FOR ONLINE SPORTS BETTING DEFENDANTS
Phua associates find the cost of betting heavy.
Court documents in Nevada have revealed that the penalties for organising internet sports betting from a hotel in Las Vegas during the FIFA World Cup are punitive.
High profile Asian gambling personality Paul Phua and his associates were busted in an FBI sting earlier this year, with one defendant escaping punishment and five out of the eight defendants deciding to plead guilty to secure their release.
That leaves Wei Seng “Paul” Phua and his son Darren, who continue to protest their innocence of any wrongdoing.
The court documents reveal that the pleas involve transmitting wagering information.
The pleas of three of the defendants, Yan Zhang, Yung Keung Fan and Herman Chung Sang Yeung, all of Hong Kong, were heard Tuesday and approved. Each was sentenced to five years’ probation, exclusion from the United States for five years, a $100,000 fine and $125,000 forfeiture each.
Two more defendants are due to enter pleas today (Wednesday); Seng Chen “Richard” Yong, a 57-year-old Malaysian businessman, and Hui Tang, the general manager of a football club in China who has admitted that he and others operated an illegal sports gambling business. He has agreed to pay a $250,000 fine as well as $250,000 in forfeiture.
It is likely that both will also be handed a five year probation and US entry ban.
Court documents allege that Phua and his associates were using SBOBet and IBCBet sports-betting websites, neither of which is licensed to operate in Nevada, to monitor odds and place wagers.
Prosecutors claim that at the time of his arrest in July, Darren Phua told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that his father owned IBCBet.
Chris Eaton, former head of security at FIFA, and currently a director at the Doha-based International Centre for Sport Security, has estimated that each company turns over about $2 billion a week.