Justice Department Busts Massive Online Illegal Gambling Operation
A large-scale online betting operation that circulated more than $1 billion in sports bets was halted last Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Justice.
A federal grand jury in Oklahoma City formally charged 23 businesses and 34 people.
In a statement, Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman said the Justice Department is persistent in prosecuting and punishing defendants who engage in illegal online gambling practices.
According to sources, the FBI and IRS investigated the case for several years before charging the alleged culprits with the crime. The defendants may face a slew of punishments if convicted–up to five years in prison for facilitating an unlawful gambling business, up to 10 years for money laundering, up to 20 years for money laundering conspiracy and finally, up to 20 years for racketeering.
The alleged leader of the gambling ring is Bartice “Luke” King, 46. He started the company in San Jose, Costa Rica in 2002 and named it MVP Sports. He moved the business to Panama the following year and renamed it Legendz Sports. King is a resident of Spring, Texas.
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