BoS Board May Cop Plea Agreement with US Justice Department

7 May 2007

The board of directors of BetonSports (BoS) is reportedly ready to strike a plea agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in exchange for impunity from further related charges.

"We are close to an agreement with the DOJ under which the case against BetonSports will be closed," BoS Board Chairman Clive Parritt told the Telegraph.

The settlement would prevent any future cases relating to the same charges from being brought against the board of directors, according to the report.

"We will agree the company has been associated with being part of an 'illegal gambling enterprise' between 1992 and 2006 but essentially we are being penalized for buying the company from (BoS founder Gary) Kaplan," Parritt said of the plea.

Further to the plea bargain, BoS is set to go into liquidation, which it will announce at a shareholder meeting on May 16. Liquidation would help repay its creditors, which have been owed since the company shut down its U.S.-facing operation in July 2006. The remainder would go to shareholders.

Thousands of the company's U.S. customers, however, are still without their money. Parritt said those customers are owed money by BetonSports Antigua, which is also being wound down.

BoS and 10 other individuals associated with the business, including Kaplan and former CEO David Carruthers, were indicted and charged with conspiracy, racketeering and fraud in offering bets on professional and college sports to U.S. residents.

The indictments stemmed from a three-year federal investigation (between 2002 and 2005) out of the Eastern District of Missouri, during which the government alleges BoS and associated companies took in $4.6 billion from U.S. residents.

Carruthers, who was arrested in Dallas while changing planes on his way to Costa Rica, remains on house arrest in St. Louis and awaits trial. Kaplan, who was a fugitive from justice for nearly seven months, was arrested in March in the Dominican Republic and is awaiting transfer to St. Louis.

BoS counsel Jeffrey Demerath would not comment on the settlement.