BetOnSports founder Gary Kaplan reaches plea deal

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BetOnSports founder Gary Kaplan agreed to plea deal today and will be sentenced to between 41 and 51 months in prison and forfeit $43.65 million, according to a statement released by Acting United States Attorney Michael Reap.

"Kaplan admitted in court today that beginning in the mid to late 1990s, he set up business entities offshore in Aruba, Antigua and eventually Costa Rica to provide sportsbook services to U.S. residents through Internet websites and toll-free telephone numbers," the statement reads.

Kaplan was arrested in March of 2007 in the Dominican Republic and faced 20 felony charges for allowing U.S. bettors to gamble at BetOnSports. As part of the plea arrangement, Kaplan will plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to violate the RICO statute, conspiring to violate the Wire Wager Act and violating the Wire Wager Act.

"Gary Kaplan made millions of dollars by making it too easy for people to gamble away their hard earned money without having to leave their homes," said FBI Special Agent in Charge John Gillies. "Today's guilty plea should have a lasting effect, because Kaplan was not only the founder of BetonSports, he was also one of the pioneers of illegal online gambling. As we get closer to successfully ending this investigation, the FBI will continue to work toward catching the remaining two subjects. We will follow all leads, no matter how far, to bring to justice those involved in this scheme".

Kaplan ran illegal sports betting operations in New York and Miami before setting up BetonSports in Antigua and Costa Rica. Kaplan was indicted for his role in BetOnSports in 2006. In April, former BetOnSports CEO David Carruthers pled guilty to racketeering conspiracy and agreed to testify against Kaplan in exchange for receiving no more than 33 months in jail.

BetonSports agreed in May of 2007 to provide witnesses and evidence against Carruthers and Kaplan. In return, then U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway agreed to bring no further charges against any BetonSports executives.

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