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13 years ago, Antiguan sports betting ring leader charged, eventually arrested

Richard Sullivan, 73, of Antigua, was arrested by U.S. law enforcement 13 years after a federal grand jury in Boston indicted him.

SymClub
Apr 8, 2024
3 min read
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In this 2014 file photo, customs officials at JFK International Airport talk to a man who wants to....aussiedlerbote.de
In this 2014 file photo, customs officials at JFK International Airport talk to a man who wants to apply for entry. New York Airport Law Enforcement recently arrested a man wanted by U.S. authorities for allegedly operating an offshore sports betting operation in Antigua..aussiedlerbote.de

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13 years ago, Antiguan sports betting ring leader charged, eventually arrested

Richard Sullivan, 73, of St. John's, Antigua, was ultimately arrested by U.S. law enforcement. He was arrested 13 years ago after a federal grand jury in Boston indicted him on multiple charges related to his alleged offshore sports betting operations.

Sullivan was arrested last week at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport while undergoing customs inspection after returning from Antigua. Sullivan was subsequently indicted in the Eastern District of New York. The case has been remanded to the District of Massachusetts for a new trial, and Sullivan will appear later in federal court in Boston.

The 2010 indictment accused Sullivan of running a multimillion-dollar offshore sports betting operation called Sports Offshore. While online sports betting is licensed in Antigua, federal prosecutors allege that the business primarily targeted U.S. customers in an illegal manner.

At the time, legal sports betting in the United States was limited to Nevada. Just in May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal law that essentially gave states the right to enact their own sports betting laws.

Today, more than 30 states have approved sports betting, with many allowing online operations.Offshore sports betting operators like Sports Offshore remain illegal in the United States as these sites are not licensed by any state gambling regulator. Furthermore, offshore locations are not subject to fair competition regulations, impose no taxes, and offer no consumer protections.

UIGEA first

The U.S. Department of Justice said Sullivan's 2010 indictment was one of the first to be brought against an individual under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). Federal law prohibits gambling establishments from "knowingly accepting payment in connection with the participation of another person." Betting or wagering involving the use of the Internet is illegal under federal or state law. "

A federal grand jury concluded there was sufficient evidence to justify charges that Sullivan oversaw an illegal sports betting ring operating in the United States. Sullivan was charged with racketeering (RICO), operating an illegal gambling business, transmitting gambling information, money laundering, and interstate travel in furtherance of a crime.

Prosecutors allege Sullivan had about 50 employees in the United States who were responsible for recruiting clients and collecting debts.

Two of Sullivan's right-hand men, Todd Lyons and Daniel Eremian (Daniel Eremian is the brother-in-law of former Congressman John Tierney (D-Mass.)), in December 2011 Convicted for his role in Sports Offshore. Lyons was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to forfeit $24.6 million. Eremian was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to forfeit $7.7 million.

If Sullivan is found guilty, he could face a longer prison sentence. The racketeering charge alone carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Penalties for illegal gambling could be increased by another five years.

Antigua and US disagree over iGaming

Sullivan avoided prosecution by staying in Antigua, which refuses to extradite people facing Internet gambling charges to the United States. While Antigua extradites people to the United States for other crimes, the Caribbean island has had problems with U.S. prosecutions of offshore gambling sites.

Antigua is the center of online gaming sites. In 2003, the country won a lawsuit against the United States at the World Trade Organization that challenged the United States' ability to prosecute across its borders those who allegedly allowed U.S. citizens to gamble at its offshore venues.

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Source: www.casino.org

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