DOJ Indicts Legendz Sports – Seeks $1 Billion in Forfeitures

April 11, 2013
DOJ Indicts Legendz Sports – Seeks $1 Billion in Forfeitures

The United States Department of Justice is once again going after online gamblers, but this time they are fully backed by the law. Earlier today, an indictment against the owners and operators of Legendz Sports was announced with a forfeiture amount that makes the PokerStars settlement pale in comparison.

Sandra C. Coats, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, and Mythili Raman, the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, made the announcement earlier today. The DOJ is seeking a massive forfeiture judgment of $1 Billion from the company.

The complete list of defendants lists 34 individuals as well as 23 corporations. Among the individual defendants is Bartice Alan King of Spring, TX. King was the owner of the company and conspired with others to operate an illegal gambling business over the internet and the telephone while located originally in Costa Rica and then later moving to Panama City.

Since 2003 the company used a series of bookies in the US to collect wagers on sports and also used those bookies to collect gambling debts and to make payments to winners. The DOJ alleges that the company took a total of $1 Billion in bets from US customers.

The defendants named in the indictment are facing charges of conspiring to commit money laundering, money laundering, and operating an illegal gambling business. If convicted, they could each face a total of 35 years in prison. The DOJ is also seeking forfeitures in total of $1 Billion. This amount comes from traceable assets such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, domain names, real estate, a Sabreliner aircraft, and other assets.

According to Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman, “These defendants allegedly participated in an illegal sports gambling business, lining their pockets with profits from over a billion dollars in illegal gambling proceeds. Today’s charges demonstrate that we are as determined as ever to hold accountable those involved in facilitating illegal online gambling by U.S. citizens, regardless of where the business operates or where the defendants reside.”

Sports betting in the United States is illegal and the US Department of Justice clarified back in December 2011 that the Federal Wire Act of 1961 applied only to sports betting. In a majority of US states, sports betting whether live or online is still illegal and this new case by the DOJ is nothing short of a slam dunk. The only thing now is to see how many of the indictments that the DOJ is able to prosecute and how much money they will be able to recover.

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