Undercover FBI agents working on the Legends Sports case used federal funds to bet on sporting events as part of its operational tactics in busting the illegal sports betting business.
According to NewsOK, the operation, which at one point was called “Operation Bad Luck”, called for undercover employees to infiltrate the illegal gambling business and identify suspected bookies in Oklahoma. As part of their MO, the agents would act as sports bettors and put money on sports games, which they did and resulted in winnings and losses amounting to thousands of dollars in federal money.
Among the games that were highlighted in the FBI records included 2008 football games between the University of Oklahoma and Kansas University, Texas and Missouri, and Penn State and Ohio State.
The operation also called for undercover employees to meet with suspected bookies at numerous locations in Oklahoma City, including bingo halls, doughnut shops, parking lots, and restaurants, to make the transactions, whether it was paying for their losses or raking in their winnings.
The FBI’s investigation on Legends Sports dates back to 2004 when agents were already looking into the operations of the online sports betting operator. After years of piecing the case together, the US Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma finally unsealed indictments last month against 34 individuals and 23 companies associated with Legends Sports, charging them with a multitude of offenses, including racketeering, money laundering and operating an illegal gambling business. Eight of the 34 individuals indicted are from Oklahoma and depending on what charges stick, the defendants stand to face sentences from anywhere between five to 20 years.
Since the indictments, Legends Sport had its license revoked by Panamanian authorities and has transferred all player accounts to Costa Rica-based WagerWeb sports book, thereby ensuring that despite the trouble its in, its former players will still have their personal accounts intact, albeit in a different sports book.