BetonSports Founder Jailed in U.S.

3rd November 2009 8:53 am GMT

BetonSports founder Gary Kaplan has been sentenced by the Eastern Missouri District Court to over four years in prison and ordered to forfeit more than $43 million of criminal proceeds from the online gambling business which he built and ultimately floated on the London Stock Exchange.

Kaplan was arrested in March 2007 in the Dominican Republic and extradited to the United States where he was remanded in custody on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and fraud. Kaplan had originally pleaded not guilty to the charges, but having been held in custody since March 2007 without bail, subsequently changed his plea to guilty in August of this year.

The BetonSports founder admitted in court that he set up a sportsbook business which served U.S. residents via the internet and toll-free telephone numbers, and that he continued to operate despite becoming aware that his activities were illegal.

Before the Eastern Missouri District Court, Friday, Kaplan was ordered to serve a total of 51 months in prison followed by three years supervised probation. Judge Carol Jackson also ordered the forfeiture of $43,650,000 of criminal proceeds which Kaplan had transferred from Switzerland at the time of his guilty plea to a bank account controlled by the District Court.

Judge Jackson said Kaplan had "made a gamble" with his disregard for the law and "here is the payoff".

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