BetonSports’ Carruthers Surprise Guilty Plea Withdrawal

1st October 2009 8:27 am GMT

With just days to go to the conclusion of his three year ordeal in the United States on charges of racketeering, former BetonSports CEO David Carruthers has unexpectedly withdrawn his guilty plea.

At a hearing Tuesday in the Eastern District Court of Missouri, Judge Carol E. Jackson accepted a motion to set aside the guilty plea of Carruthers, setting a date of October 14th for a change of plea hearing at which Carruthers is expected to plead not guilty to charges of racketeering.

The former chief executive of BetonSports plc, a UK citizen, is charged with conducting an illegal enterprise through a pattern of racketeering acts, including repeated mail fraud, Wire Wager Act violations, operation of an illegal gambling business and money laundering.

The company has already admitted to its involvement in racketeering as part of a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri in May 2007. Under the terms of the plea agreement, BetonSports agreed to supply evidence and witnesses in the cases against Carruthers and the company's founder, Gary Kaplan, in exchange for which the company was released from the threat of criminal prosecution.

It is unclear at this time why Carruthers decided to change his plea. He had been scheduled to appear before the court on Friday to face sentencing, at which point he was expected to be allowed to return to the UK having already been in U.S. custody for more than three years.

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