July 28, 2006, 3:58PM
By DAN CATERINICCHIA AP Business Writer
© 2006 The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Attorneys at the Justice Department headquarters here have been involved from the outset of an investigation by the US Attorney’s office in St. Louis of BetOnSports PLC that so far has resulted in a court-ordered suspension of its operations and the arrest of the British online gambling company’s chief executive.
David Carruthers was arrested July 16 at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas while trying to make a connecting flight from the United Kingdom to Costa Rica, where BetOnSports is based. The site suspended U.S. operations July 18 following the issuance of a temporary restraining order by the U.S. government. On Monday, a hearing on the order is scheduled at the U.S. District Court in St. Louis. Carruthers, whose employment contract with BetOnSports was terminated July 25, will be arraigned in a separate hearing in St. Louis.
The BetOnSports case has garnered media attention because it is one of the largest companies to date that the government has taken legal steps against. In the fiscal year ended Feb. 5, BetOnSports said it had handled $1.8 billion in bets. The case also attracted attention because Carruthers has been an outspoken advocate of online gambling. “I’m optimistic that we can come to agreeable terms for his release,” at Monday’s arraignment, said Tim Evans, Carruthers’ Fort Worth-based attorney.
Going after a high-profile player may not be coincidental, but the case, the latest of many the Justice Department has brought and continues to pursue, is not part of a coordinated federal crackdown on the industry, according to spokesmen there.
Carruthers, company founder Gary Kaplan _ who the Justice Department says is still at large _ and nine others were named in a 22-count indictment unsealed last week by federal prosecutors. The government says BetOnSports fraudulently took bets from U.S. residents by phone and the Internet, and failed to pay excise taxes. It is seeking the forfeiture of $4.5 billion, cars and computers from the defendants.
MORE – Read the complete article at Chron.com