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BetonSports stops taking bets

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BetonSports has complied with a Department of Justice indictment and stopped taking bets late last night.

A message on the homepage says: "In light of court papers filed in the United States, the company has temporarily suspended this facility pending its ability to assess its full position. During this period no financial or wagering transactions can be executed. Further information will be posted once the company is in a position to do so." BetonSports shares on the London Stock Exchange remain suspended.

The DoJ also says BetonSports owes taxes on $3.3bn on bets taken from US punters. It wants $4.5bn and various properties.

The indictment focuses on company founder Gary Stephen Kaplan who is charged with 20 felony violations. It claims Kaplan started running a sportsbook in New York in the early 90s. He was arrested on gambling charges in May 1993 and moved to Florida. He eventually moved to Costa Rica.

Kaplan and Norman Steinberg own and operate Millennium Sportsbook, Gibraltar Sportsbook and North American Sports Association. They are accused of taking bets from undercover Federal agents and of illegally transporting betting equipment over state lines.

Gary Kaplan's whereabouts are not known - he lives in Costa Rica but is rumoured to be in Israel. He seems to have left the company two years ago.

Kaplan's brother Neil is in custody in Florida. David Carruthers is being held in Forth Worth, Texas. Two other named individuals are in custody in Miami and Tim Brown has been arrested near Philadelphia

The indictment says the Feds will seek extradition for all suspects. A hearing in the civil case, to get the money, will be heard within 10 days.

There's a statement from the DoJ here and the full indictment is available here.®

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