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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Clarification: Biggest Winners in the BETonSPORTS Case are U.S. Taxpayers, Not Bettors

Posted By on Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 12:45 PM

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Earlier this week Daily RFT reported that bettors could begin laying claim to their piece of the $43.65 million in online gambling proceeds that Gary Kaplan, founder of the now-defunct BETonSPORTS, has forfeited to the U.S. government.

Steve Holtshouser, the federal prosecutor handling Kaplan's case, says bettors are actually not entitled to the money. Though the government's official notice says "any person...claiming an interest in the forfeited property" may file a petition to recoup his/her dough, neither bettors, nor creditors, nor former employees qualify as having "an interest" in the funds.

(Note to all the former bettors calling the U.S. Attorney's Office: You may be entitled to monies recouped in the liquidation of BETonSPORTS, which is being handled by Vantis, a British company. Call them.)

Holtshauser tells Daily RFT that Kaplan owned the $43.65 million handed over to the U.S. by a Swiss bank. Since he has no rightful ownership in the wake of his guilty plea, guess who stands to benefit?

"A portion [of the funds] will be shared with [the Isle of] Jersey and Switzerland, because we couldn't have done this without them," explains Holtshouser. "They froze the money at our request--or it would have been long gone. But the biggest beneficiary will be the U.S. taxpayers. They will get back more than it cost to prosecute this case, and then some."

Kaplan was the subject of an RFT feature story in 2007. Last week he pleaded guilty to racketeering and fraud. He will be sentenced in federal court on October 27.

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