Agreement with the DoJ may give 5Dimes the opportunity to re-enter the U.S. as a licensed sports betting company.
Back on Sept. 7, 5Dimes posted a notice on its website saying that it would stop accepting online bets from customers in the United States. The statement added that players had to withdraw funds by Sept. 25 and no payouts would be made after September 30th. Well, it's the 30th and today we all found out why 5Dimes HAD to be out.
United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced today that 5Dimes has agreed to forfeit more than $46.8 million in gambling proceeds as part of a settlement agreement. After a criminal investigation into the 5Dimes sports betting operation, 5Dimes agreed to pay $15 million in cash, forfeit more than $30 million in assets and stop accepting wagers from U.S. customers. The settlement agreement was reached with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
As part of the agreement, the Department of Justice has agreed to not criminally prosecute 5Dimes or Laura Varela, who is the widow of former owner "Tony", for any crimes committed prior to September 30, 2020. If 5Dimes still had to do business (payouts, bets, etc.) with U.S players after today, they would have been in violation of this agreement.
This was all orchestrated by Tony's widow, who according to our sources, started the process of divesting the company from U.S. players months ago. Though Valera never had anything to do with the day-to-day operation of 5Dimes, she became the de-facto owner after Tony was found murdered in October of 2018 and thus was still a subject of DoJ investigations into wire fraud, illegal gambling and money laundering. According to an article at ESPN, Valera contacted the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in the spring of 2019 and offered her cooperation to settle the case. In his piece on espn.com, David Purdham added that, "she helped retrieve assets, but declined to provide authorities with information about the U.S. bettors who played with 5Dimes." That is welcome news for players who may be worried about their involvement with 5Dimes.
When we first reported the 5Dimes announcement about U.S. players we were told that they were seeking licensing "around the world" in regulated jurisdictions. We were able to confirm that they are seeking a license in Malta. But, it appears that Valera is also eyeing the United States, this time as a licensed and regulated sports betting entity. 5Dimes has apparently already formed an entity in Delaware - 5D AMERICA LLC. A quick check shows that it was incorporated back on August 13th, well before the shocking September announcement.
What can players expect?
Any customers who did not request a withdrawal of their funds by September 25th or get paid out by the 30th, will have those funds transferred to Epiq, a third-party claims administrator, who will deliver the funds to the account holder. Players do have time to get in touch with Epiq and get their funds. In fact, players have a year, as any customer funds that are not claimed by September 30, 2021, will be forfeited to the U.S. government.
We did not get a response yet from 5Dimes or Epiq as to any fees that players may to have to pay to get their funds. We have had many players tell us that they think this is another "BetOnSports situation", where players were paid pennies on the dollar by corporate receiver, Vantis. An announcement is expect from Epiq tomorrow and a website PlayerRefund.com has been setup for players who have not yet been paid. According to the site, more information will be available on or after November 2, 2020.
From what we understand, 5Dimes was going crazy the last week or so trying to get everyone paid out. We heard from many customers who finally got paid in the last few days after long wait times. For players who have not been paid yet, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can keep you abreast of any developments with your funds, Epiq or this case moving forward.
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