Bartice ‘Luke’ King, the indicted former CEO of Panama-based online sportsbook Legends Sports, was released on $1m bail last Friday (23). King was one of 34 individuals indicted in April by the US Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma on charges of operating an illegal gambling business, racketeering and money laundering. King had posted a $2.5m bond in May, but the judge presiding over the case put the kibosh on this arrangement after Assistant US Attorney Susan Cox argued that King was a flight risk. On August 8, King’s bond was reduced to $1m. As part of his bail agreement, King was forced to surrender his passport and is confined to his Texas home.
The indictment prompted Panamanian authorities to revoke Legends’ gaming license, which led to Legends’ player accounts being transferred to Costa Rica-based WagerWeb.ag. Cox cited this transfer during King’s bail hearing, claiming that King had simply shifted his business from Panama to Costa Rica, and was thus, you know, not really getting into the spirit of the whole contrition thing. BettingTalk’s David Purdum reported that the judge has established February 2015 as a potential trial date, presumably to allow plenty of time for the government to reach a lucrative plea agreement.
MOHEGAN SUN CAN’T SHAKE WAGER2020 BOOKIES
Another Costa Rica-based sports betting site, Wager2020.com, has been cited as having been used by a Pennsylvania man arrested this week on five counts of bookmaking. The Times Leader reported that the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested William Schreiber, 32, for using the Wager2020 site to process wagers on behalf of clients, with whom Schreiber would settle up at the Mohegan Sun casino in Pocono Downs. Schreiber’s preliminary hearing on the charges has been set for Oct. 10.
Part of the Capilleira family of pay per head credit betting services, Wager2020 promotes itself as providing “sports books data processing services” for local bookies and their clients, and that all moneys wagered are “the responsibility of your sport book to pay and collect from you.” It’s not the first time the Mohegan Sun has been linked to Wager2020, as two casino employees were charged in January with taking money from a casino customer to process sports wagers through the site. In exchange for having their bookmaking charges dropped, the pair agreed to plead guilty to disorderly conduct charges, for which they were fined $450. Citizens Voice quoted Mohegan Sun general manager Mike Bean saying the casino cooperates fully with the police but that they hadn’t contacted him with regard to Schreiber’s case.
OLD FOLKS CHARGED WITH OLD SCHOOL BETTING
Finally, a couple of Michigan senior citizens are facing felony bookmaking charges that stand in stark defiance of this technological age. John and Ellen Zunich – the 70 and 68 year-olds, respectively, pictured above – reportedly printed football betting cards at their ArtCraft Printing business in Detroit. These primarily college and pro football betting cards would then be manually distributed through contacts in neighboring counties.
John’s responsibility was to handle the wagers while Ellen allegedly acted as the Skyler White of the business, helping to launder the proceeds through the printing business. Police have seized assets worth over $733k they claim are the ill-gotten gains from the couple’s bookmaking activities between Dec. 2002 and May 2012. John’s facing up to 20 years in prison for conducting a criminal enterprise, while Ellen’s facing up to five years for filing false tax returns. The couple was originally charged in July and waived their right to a preliminary hearing on Aug. 26.