There was big news this week regarding the outcome of the plea from former BETonSPORTS kingpin, Gary Kaplan. Kaplan pleaded guilty last week. As part of the plea, he was forced to forfeit $43.6 million of his illegal gambling proceeds. This week the U.S. Department of Justice put a notice out on its website stating
There was big news this week regarding the outcome of the plea from former BETonSPORTS kingpin, Gary Kaplan. Kaplan pleaded guilty last week. As part of the plea, he was forced to forfeit $43.6 million of his illegal gambling proceeds. This week the U.S. Department of Justice put a notice out on its website stating that it was giving ” notice of its intent to dispose of the forfeited property”.
Was this the miracle that former BOS players were looking for?
We heard from players by the dozens since this story broke on Wednesday on a small BLOG in the Midwest, “Feds Let Online Gamblers Lay Claim to BETonSPORTS’ Founder Gary Kaplan’s $43 Million, Beginning Today” blazed the headline from a BLOG on the Riverfront Times website. This was such a huge turn of events, possibly bringing to an end the three-year ordeal, that we heard from advertisers, former BOS employees still working in Costa Rica, and of course, players. These players, as could be expected, were rejoicing, at this sudden blast of great news. However, may gamblers see the glass as half full and we had several players also ask us if they would be prosecuted for laying claim to their funds.
However, players, nor advertisers, nor anyone really, will have a shot at the $43 million.
We immediately contacted Vantis, the corporate liquidators, responsible for paying players and most recently vendors who were owed money at the time of the BOS shut-down. They informed us that yes, they were in talks with the DOJ. But they would not comment further.
This news made the glimmer of hope burn slightly brighter.
But, a subsequent conversation OSGA had with Assistant United States Attorney Charles S. Birmingham extinguished any hopes for players.
Birmingham said point blank in an exclusive interview, “This is not the money that players sent in, this is not BETonSPORTS money.” Yes, according to the DOJ, this was money that Kaplan had earned operating BOS, not the money players had deposited or won. Birmingham went on to state that the $43 million was recovered by the government as forfeited, criminal proceeds.
Apparently, whenever the government gets ‘illegal criminal proceeds’, whether it be a house, Mercedes or cash, a notice is put out for people with legitimate claim to it. There are hundreds of these notices on the government’s website. For example, if a car was bought by Kaplan the day before he was arrested and the dealer let him drive it off the lot the night before he went on the lamb, the car dealer could apply for restitution. We doubt that many will stand up here.
We also found out, that though there are no laws specifically against a person placing a bet online, anyone who did fill out the form for their claim on the money may have to look over their shoulder for a bit. “We would have to look at any requests very closely”, we were told when posing the players’ question to the Assistant U.S. attorney.
So what is the money going to be used for? “Law enforcement purposes”, we were told by Birmingham. He cited the last time such a large amount of forfeited funds came in, a children’s program was funded.
Little solace for the thousands of BOS players.
Birmingham added that players should continue to pursue their money “through the liquidators”. He means Vantis, who is still working on it….2 comments