DoJ targets 'illegal' net gambling operation

In hot pursuit

The US Department of Justice is suing an internet gambling operation based in Antigua over allegations of money laundering. WorldWide Telesports Inc, run by William Scott and Jessica Davis, allegedly violated US federal laws in laundering an estimated $250m worth of internet gambling wagers. Scott and Davis are currently fugitives from US justice.

A 12-count indictment unsealed earlier this week alleges that from April 1998 until April 2006 the pair operated WorldWide Telesports, an online casino and sports betting operation, which incited US punters to place bets in violation of Federal Wire and Travel Acts. Allegedly illegal bets were placed either over toll-free telephone numbers or through www.BetWWTS.com and other websites controlled by the defendants. By causing funds to be sent from the US to overseas location with the intent to promote Wire and Travel Act violations, Scott and Davis allegedly engaged in a money laundering conspiracy.

Scott is further charged with failing to report foreign bank accounts to the Internal Revenue Service as well as separate money laundering offences involving deals he made using profits from the net betting operation he controlled. Soulbury Ltd. one of the "shell" corporations Scott allegedly used to hide his personal profits from the illegal gambling enterprise, amassed $10m in illegal revenues which Scott allegedly tried to secrete in the channel island of Guernsey. The US government has recovered $7m in funds from Guernsey in a related civil forfeiture lawsuit. ®

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