Gambling boss gets three years
US ignores geography
David Carruthers, the former chief executive of Betonsports, was sentenced to 33 months' prison time last week.
Carruthers, a British citizen, was arrested in Dallas in 2006 while changing planes on his way to Costa Rica, where the business was based. His arrest pre-dated the passage of US laws to ban online gambling - tacked onto the Safe Ports Act.
Carruthers took a guilty plea and has agreed to stand witness against other defendants.
Betonsports was founded by Gary Kaplan, who copped a guilty plea and handed over $43m to US authorities in the summer.
US authorities surprised many observers by taking action against 'foreign' firms before the passage of the Ports Act which would have made prosecutions easier.
Assistant US attorney Steven E Holtshouser said: “The prosecution and conviction of Carruthers is significant to the Government’s efforts at enforcement of U.S. laws against offshore Internet and telephone sports wagering businesses, because Carruthers was both a foreign national and a top executive of BetOnSports... Both the conviction of, and sentence handed down against Mr. Carruthers should send a message to any foreign business conducting illegal activities in the United States, that geography does not render it untouchable.”
The full DoJ statement is here. ®
So can we presume then that if a Chinese citizen accesses a site run from the US that calls for the emancipation of Tibet that the US will have no problem with China snatching the site's owners if they ever travel through a country friendly to them, siezing their assets and sending them to a labour camp?
Or how about if I visit a US site that hosts S&M movies that are perfectly legal there, but illegal under our new extreme porn legislation? I assume that Mr Obama would agree that rather than prosecuting me, we should extradite the US site's owners and charge them in the UK?
Bugger, nowhere is safe
Crap, I'm screwed, I might have broken a law that hasn't been written in the USA yet, and as Gary McKinnon has proved, not actually being in America doesn't help.
I'm obviously missing something...
British citizen, business in Puerto Rico? "Offence" predated the law?
erm... help me out, someone (I can tell you which way I came in) but.........I just don't get it.
Is this the US 'world police' in action yet again?