Friday August 16,2013 : PLANO POLICE PROFIT FROM ONLINE GAMBLING BUST
$5 million is police department’s share of the seized spoils
The police department in Plano City, Texas is better off to the tune of almost $5 million this week following receipt of a share of the spoils from a successful federal online sports betting bust of a Curacao-licensed gambling ring.
The department assisted IRS and FBI investigators in breaking up the organisation in 2006, and the defendants in the case have already taken guilty pleas.
U.S. Attorney John Bales and IRS Special Agent in Charge Madie Branch handed the Plano police a check for $4,753,841.40 in an asset sharing ceremony at police headquarters this week.
Plano police conducted an undercover operation which ultimately led to the exposure of a wider operation with Curacao licensing. 18 North Texas residents were identified as conspirators who accepted wagers on college and professional sports through 25 websites hosted in Curacao.
"The defendants provided bettors with a personal login code and password to facilitate the placement of wagers through the websites and to disguise their identities. Bettors were then directed to specific websites or to toll free numbers operated by the websites where the bettors placed wagers on sporting events," the Department of Justice said in a news release Thursday on the asset-share.
The involvement of federal agencies eventually led in 2011 to 32 federal search warrants executed at residences, offices and safe-deposit boxes belonging to the defendants. Additionally, 47 seizure warrants were executed to seize bank and investment accounts, cars and property.
The gambling ring was said to generate wagers of around $1 billion annually and $5.4 billion in all, delivering over $200 million in illegal earnings to the defendants over a four year period.
All 18 of the defendants have pleaded guilty to various criminal violations ranging from money laundering to tax violations. Additionally, more than $10 million has been forfeited to the U.S. Government.