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Gambling boss gets three years

US ignores geography

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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.

The changes also fell foul of the World Trade Organisation because they effectively discriminated against non-US firms - both Antigua and the EU complained.

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. ®

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