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Former BetonSports CEO Pleads Guilty to Racketeering

2/4/2009
Former chief executive of the now defunct online gambling firm BetonSports, David Carruthers, yesterday pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering conspiracy in U.S. federal court.

The British citizen now faces a maximum prison term of 20 years and up a fine of up to $250,000 (£172,934) on charges relating to his involvement in the firm, which was previously a main player during the early years of the offshore internet gambling market.

In early 2000, Carruthers was hired by the Costa Rica-based firm and soon led BetonSports.com to a listing on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market, which proved a key factor in his appointment as director of the site’s parent company, BetonSports, in 2004.

However, despite BetonSports continued success, the Justice Department reported that company employees falsely claimed that its internet and telephone gambling operations were legal in U.S. advertising and that they had lied about the safety of money held on account for customers.

BetonSports ceased operations in 2006, with the Justice Department reporting that customers had lost funds in the region of $7-$20 million. A drawn-out investigation into the company followed and Carruthers finally entered a guilty plea in the U.S. District Court in St. Louis yesterday.

The Brit, along with five other BetonSports defendants, including company founder Gary Kaplan, will now face trial in September, the Justice Department said.

Duncan Wilkie
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