Norman Steinberg, co-owner of Millenium Group, a subsidiary of BetOnSports, which was shut down by federal prosecutors in 2006, came to the U.S. this week and was sentenced to 3 years’ probation which is to be served from his home on Costa Rica, a $10,000 fine, no restitution and is unrestricted to travel anywhere in the world.
This is a far cry from what the other people who were related with BetonSports got from the U.S. prosecution. Founder Gary Kaplan who was sentenced in 2009 got 3 years in prison and forfeited $43.65 million as he was charged with multiple counts violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Then CEO David Carruthers was ordered to pay $75,000 and was sent to prison for 33 months.
Why such leniency? This may partly be answered by a mysterious civil law suit that was filed under seal in Pennsylvania by Steinberg. As part of his plea agreement, this lawsuit filed against the government was dropped. No details have come out about the case but his lawyers said;
“The civil lawsuit was instrumental in our ability to resolve this matter in the fashion it was resolved in. We’re prohibited by court order from saying more.”
The U.S. prosecutors had considered Steinberg a fugitive even though he was openly living in Costa Rica knowing that extradition would be hard. Steinberg claimed he voluntarily came back to U.S. because he wanted to clear his name. He lawyer claimed,
“They gave us a deal that was worth his coming to the U.S. to accept.”
This leaves only one unresolved issue in the BetOnSports investigation and that is Gregory James Haggard who is currently regarded as a fugitive.
If you are keeping score, mark one up for the government. On Tuesday, BetOnSports, the giant gambling house brought down by federal prosecutors, was sentenced to probation and a fine of $28.2 million. However, BetOnSports is in debt up to it’s eyeballs, owing many millions more than it has, so it is doubtful it will pay any of the fine according to lawyers on both sides. It is estimated that it still owes seven to eight million dollars to U.S. gamblers; and that amount may be quite understated.
For anyone who has harbored any doubts whatsoever about the health of Big Brother, trust me, he is alive and doing very well. Point in fact: On Monday, Gary Kaplan, founder of BetOnSports, was sentenced to 51 months in prison on charges of federal racketeering.
He had been arrested on 20 felony charges in March of 2007 in the Dominican Republic. Those charges were for allowing American residents to place bets at BetOnSports.
According to U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway and in a move that stunned the online gambling sector, BetOnSports PLC pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges. The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette carried the details of the bargain in which Hanaway agreed to drop any further criminal prosecution of the company in return for BetOnSports cooperation in supplying witnesses and evidence in the pending cases against Carruthers, Kaplan and other lower-level defendants.