The alleged ringleader behind an illegal online sports betting operation has reportedly reached a plea deal with New York prosecutors.
In October 2015, the Queens District Attorney’s office announced multiple arrests in connection with an credit betting operation that handled wagers through a toll-free telephone number and Panama-based website 365action.com.
The operation, which the authorities had begun investigating 18 months prior to the arrests, was said to have around 2k customers across the United States who collectively wagered in excess of $32m per year.
Among the 17 individuals arrested in 2015 was the alleged ringleader, Cyrus Irani, a resident of Santa Clarita, California. On Tuesday, The Signal reported that Irani had reached a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to a criminal charge of enterprise corruption, a violation of New York’s Organized Crime Control Act.
As recently as August, Irani (pictured being escorted into a squad car) seemed prepared to have his day in court but he reportedly reached his deal with prosecutors on Sept. 13, when he appeared in a New York court to enter his guilty plea. Irani, who has been wearing an ankle bracelet since his 2015 arraignment, is scheduled to be sentenced on October 26.
The 39-year-old Irani could face up to 25 years in prison on the enterprise corruption charge, which can be applied to anyone who is employed by, participates in the criminal activity of, or intentionally acquires any interest or control of an enterprise conducting criminal activity. The original indictment claimed the operation engaged in money laundering through US banks to disguise the source of its funds.
Many of the other accused have seen their charges either dropped or reduced to first-degree attempt to promote gambling, a Class A misdemeanor. But as the saying goes, heavy is the head that wears the crown, and Irani’s role as ringleader of the credit betting operation means the buck (not to mention the bucks) stopped with him.