Kaplan sentenced to 51 months in prison

3 November 2009

BetOnSports founder Gary Kaplan was sentenced to 51 months in prison on federal racketeering charges Monday.

Kaplan, 50, had pleaded guilty in August to charges of conspiracy to violate the RICO statute, conspiring to violate the Wire Wager Act and violating the Wire Wager Act.

He will also have to forfeit $43.65 million in criminal proceeds, as well as approximately $7 million in related proceedings.

"Kaplan was unique in the scope and scale of his illegal operation," said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael W. Reap. "Despite his immense profits, he is living in federal custody. This case should serve as a warning to others who might choose to defy the laws of the United States on such a grand scale."

Kaplan was arrested in the Dominican Republic in March of 2007. He faced 20 felony charges for allowing American residents to wager at BetOnSports. He also ran illegal sports betting operations in New York and Miami before setting up BetonSports in Antigua and Costa Rica.

Kaplan was indicted in 2006 for his role with BetOnSports.

"Gary Kaplan was sentenced to the maximum under the plea agreement which sends a message to those operating illegal offshore gambling enterprises," said Roland Corvington, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in St. Louis. "In addition to being in prison, hopefully some of the money forfeited will go to useful purposes such as fighting other Internet-related crimes, such as catching child predators who think they can hide on-line."

Former BetOnSports CEO David Carruthers pled guilty to racketeering charges in April, but last month reversed course and withdrew his plea. He has spent three years under house arrest in Missouri.

Carruthers had agreed to cooperate with prosecutors on other cases related to BetOnSports, including Kaplan's trial, as a part of his plea deal.

It is unclear why Carruthers withdrew his guilty plea.