11th of April 2013 Author: Johnny Karp
The US Department of Justice has reported the arrest of 34 individuals associated with Legendz Sports and the indictment of 23 business entities that helped facilitate the operation, all accused of operating an illegal sports bookmaking ring that generated revenue of more than $1 billion in illegal bets.
According to US Attorney Sanford C. Coats, the enforcement action that involved the DoJ, the FBI, and the IRS follows an investigation that has been ongoing for several years.
Allegedly the fraud was organised as Legendz Sports used bookies located in the United States to illegally solicit and accept sports wagers and settle gambling debts. Many of those agents and accused persons in other states will soon be facing further indictments.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman confirmed: 'These defendants allegedly participated in an illegal sports gambling business, lining their pockets with profits from over a billion dollars in illegal gambling proceeds.
"The current charges demonstrate that we are as determined as ever to hold accountable those involved in facilitating illegal online gambling by US citizens, regardless of where the business operates, or where the defendants reside.'
Accused in the indictment of conspiring with others to operate internet and telephone gambling services first from San Jose then onto Costa Rica, Bartice Alan King, aka 'Luke' and 'Cool', of Spring, Texas, appears to be the principal defendant.
King reportedly opened MVP Sports in 2002 in San Jose, Costa Rica and in the following year he moved the operation to Panama and renamed it Legendz, the indictment claims.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison for racketeering, up to 20 years for conspiring to commit money laundering, up to ten years for money laundering, and up to five years for operating an illegal gambling business.
Prosecutors said they will seek forfeiture of real estate, bank accounts, a Sabreliner aircraft, and a variety of financial instruments connected to the operation.
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