The United States justice Dept. today announced that Todd Lyons, of Beverly, MA, was charged with 36 counts of racketeering and related charges, for running an illegal gambling business in the United States but with the internet site in Antigua. Lyons is one of the first persons charged with violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). And he is the first to be charged in Massachusetts.
All this and UIGEA doesn’t even go into effect until June 1, 2010, a good three weeks away yet.
Todd Lyons was charged under a 36 count indictment with racketeering, money laundering, operating an illegal gambling business, use of wire communication facilities to transmit wagering information, interstate travel in aid of racketeering, false tax returns and acceptance of financial instruments for unlawful Internet gambling.
Carmen M. Ortiz, U.S. Attorney, stated: “The conduct alleged in this case reveals a blatant effort to circumvent gaming and tax laws. The notion that the type of activity alleged here is legal because it is conducted over the Internet from offshore, is pure fiction.”
Lyons is suspected of operating an agent for Sports Offshore, an internet gambling site licensed in Antigua. It charges that Lyons collected over $22 million fir Sports Offshore during part of the time covered under the indictment. He is also alleged to have used Fed-ex to ship money directly to Antigua from Massachusetts.
If Lyons is convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison for the racketeering and money laundering charges, and many more years on all the other charges. Each count also carries a three year term of supervised release and fines upward of $250,000 each.
All this under a law which is not even in effect yet. You got to love it.