BetonSports' Kaplan Back in Appeals Court Seeking Bail

8 January 2009

Gary S. Kaplan, the jailed founder of BetonSports, is taking his request for bail to the United States Court of Appeals for a second time.

Mr. Kaplan, who was arrested in March 2007, has been denied five previous requests for bail, most recently by the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in December 2007.

Having been deemed a flight risk early on, Mr. Kaplan's attorneys began their quest for bail in May 2007, painting their client a "family man" who had already begun establishing roots in the St. Louis area, having bought a house recently in a local neighborhood.

Despite the legal team's best efforts, however, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri denied the motion.

In a St. Louis courtroom in September, Mr. Kaplan's team entered a second motion for his release and presented a plan that would prevent his escape from house arrest by allowing him to finance the security measures and personnel who would watch over him twenty-four-seven.

But Judge Carol E. Jackson, the district judge who is overseeing the case, once again ruled Mr. Kaplan a flight risk and denied the motion.

By October 2007, Mr. Kaplan and his attorneys had filed a notice with the Appeals Court in Missouri, hoping the higher court would grant the request for bail, but in December 2007, the Appeals Court denied the motion without a hearing.

In May 2008, Mr. Kaplan's team started over with a new approach, claiming Mr. Kaplan's prolonged detention was a violation of the Speedy Trial Act, which, in effect, guarantees a defendant trial within 70 days of indictment, and the Bail Reform Act, which dictates that a defendant who is being held solely for the purpose of awaiting trial must be guaranteed a trial within 90 days of detention.

A renewed motion for release was entered in September 2008, and while the prosecution has requested Mr. Kaplan remain in custody pending trial, it has yet to be ruled upon by the district court.

Thus, Mr. Kaplan's attorneys on Dec. 29, 2008 filed the new appeal on the same grounds as the previous two appeals.

Chris Flood, the Houston, Texas, attorney representing Mr. Kaplan, could not be reached for comment.

Click here to view the appeal.

Emily Swoboda is the senior staff writer at IGamingNews. She lives in St. Louis, Mo.