November 3, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — Gary Kaplan, the founder of BetOnSports who has been detained by U.S. authorities for years, was finally sentenced in a St. Loud court, to 51 months in prison for running an online gambling operation that U.S. authorities deemed illegal because it granted access to U.S. players.
The company he ran, BetOnSports.com, was a billion dollar a year site, based in Costa Rica but focusing on the American market. Kaplan was hoping for a house arrest, reports St. Louis’ KMOX news.
“Kaplan pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy and racketeering charges, complaining at the time that he thought the laws were wrong, but he was admitting to violating them,” KMOX reports. “Today, a more contrite Kaplan read a brief statement that his five lawyers told the judge he had ‘written himself,’ apologizing for what he called his ‘poor choices.’”
Even though the court heard a list of the charities to which Kaplan had continued over the years, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars to causes such as “clean drinking water in Africa” and “for women victimized by domestic violence”, the judgment handed down was still harsh, amounting to more than four years behind bars — the maximum allowed under his plea bargain.
Kaplan must also pay 43 million dollars in assets from his online gaming operations, it was reported. He was also ordered to get a high school GED while in prison (?). He’s requesting to have the 31 months of time already served in the county jail counted towards his new sentence.