Two plead guilty in US e-gambling case

On 16th April, a Miami executive and his wife pleaded guilty in court to participating in a massive $1.4 billion-a-year Internet sports gambling operation in New York. The Queens District Attorney’s office said that Daniel Clarin, 32, and Melissa Clarin, 31, pleaded guilty to enterprise corruption and conspiracy charges for taking part in the operation that ran over a 28-month period.

Sentencing was set for 26th April. A Queen’s judge said Daniel Clarin will likely serve two to seven years in prison, and will also have to forfeit $254,000. Melissa Clarin, pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge, may escape jail time, if she forfeits $72,000 in illegal earnings.

The operation processed bets through offshore computer servers and a web site. Bets were taken on sports, including horseracing, football, baseball, basketball, hockey, Nascar races, PGA golf, and professional tennis.

The Clarins are the latest of 27 people who were arrested, to admit to being part of an operation that processed bets through offshore computer servers and a Web site. The accused ringleader, James Giordano, is Melissa Clarin’s father. He has already pleaded not guilty to the charges, and is awaiting trial. Giordano was also a professional poker player.

The case represents the first time Internet gambling charges were brought in the US since President George W Bush signed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act into law in October 2006. The law effectively banned online gambling by outlawing gaming financial transactions.

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