Former sports betting tout Adam Meyer has been sentenced to eight years in prison for his role in the $45.3m extortion of one of his former betting clients.
On Friday, US District Court Judge Lynn Adelman gave Meyer eight years in stripes to be followed by three years of supervised release. The 44-year-old Meyer, who was first arrested in 2014 and has been in prison since April 2015 after failing a drug test, agreed to plead guilty last year to six felony charges, including extortion and racketeering.
Meyer wrung a total of $45.3m from Gary Sadoff, a wealthy Wisconsin businessman who was a client of Meyer’s Real Money Sports tout service. Meyer got so dependent on taking Sadoff’s money that he concocted a phony bookmaker persona, played by Meyer’s accomplice Ray Batista, who stuck a gun to Sadoff’s head and threatened to kill him if Sadoff didn’t pay millions more to cover invented gambling debts.
Sadoff, who gave Meyer $9.8m following the gun incident, sent a letter to Judge Adelman explaining that he’d “acted, as I best I could, to protect those closest to me.” Sadoff also asked Adelman to stipulate that Meyer would be prohibited from having any future contact with him.
Meyer’s defense team had argued for a sentence of no more than five years, while prosecutors promised only to seek no more than 12 years. Batista, who pled guilty to his own felony charges last year, was handed a four-year sentence in January.
Attorney Joel Hirschhorn told the Sun-Sentinel that Meyer was “disappointed” with the result. Meyer’s defense included claims that, in addition to being addicted to drugs and gambling, the tout suffered from mental health issues in which “a different identity, or personality, periodically surfaces to Meyer’s detriment.”
Meyer’s defense also claimed that their client acted as a snitch for state and federal law enforcement agencies targeting internationally licensed online sports betting operators. Documents unsealed last month supported this claim by noting an extremely lenient sentence Meyer received in 2007 for felony fraud convictions.