Former Real Money Sports betting tout Adam Meyer has pled guilty to felony extortion and racketeering charges in connection with a $45m scam he ran on a former betting client.
Meyer, who originally pled not guilty to the charges, was arrested in November 2014 after Wisconsin-based customer Gary Sadoff alerted authorities that he’d been threatened with a gun by Meyer and an associate.
On Thursday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Meyer had reached a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to five felonies in exchange for prosecutors dropping firearms charges. Meyer who will be sentenced on Dec. 9, could face up to 12 years in prison, although Meyer’s attorney is pushing for a five-year stint.
According to court documents, the $45.3m Meyer extracted from Sadoff between March 2009 and February 2011 is nearly twice the sum previously reported.
Sadoff eventually stopped doing business with Meyer, which prompted the tout to fly to Wisconsin to confront Sadoff in person. Meyer’s accomplice Ray Batista – who pretended to be a bookie out to collect a debt he claimed he was owed by Meyer and Sadoff – put a gun to Sadoff’s head and threatened to pull the trigger if Sadoff didn’t pay a further $9.8m.
Batista, who faces three felony charges of his own stemming from the incident, is believed to have ties to street gangs in Meyer’s home state of Florida. It’s not known if Meyer’s plea deal requires him to testify against Batista, but the guilty plea doesn’t bode well for Batista’s chances at trial, which is scheduled to get underway next week.
Real Money Sports claimed to employ over 130 sports experts, including former pro athletes, to craft the site’s betting picks. In reality, Meyer “typically employed between three and seven people,” none of whom had any pro sports experience.
Meyer’s claim that his betting picks were the result of computer analysis and simulations was similarly bogus. And in the document’s least surprising admission, Meyer copped to sustaining “significant personal gambling losses” instead of the 67% win rate he claimed via the site.
Meyer was represented in court by Dennis Coffey, the third lawyer to handle Meyer’s case since his legal troubles began. Meyer’s legal ploys have ranged from his alleged insanity to claims of having acted as a covert operative for a host of US law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Meyer is being held without bond until his sentencing, having lost his walking around privileges in April 2015 after failing a court-ordered drug test.