The federal government in the US has been busy the past several years indicting what they believe to be illegal online gambling operations. The latest of those indictments came on Wednesday when a 34-person indictment was unsealed in Oklahoma City.
US Attorney Sanford Coats announced the indictment, claiming that Legendz Sports executives, employees, and associates worked together to operate the illegal online operation. The charges in the indictment include conspiracy to run a gambling business, operating a gambling business, money laundering, and racketeering.
The racketeering charges are among the charges that carry the most jail time should the defendants be found guilty. Racketeering charges can bring as much as a 20-year sentence. The illegal gambling charges carry the smallest amount of jail time at five years maximum.
The company is accused of taking sports bets on the Internet, and then having associates collect and pay money around the US. It is a similar operation to several others that have been indicted in recent years for gambling-related operations.
Prosecutors allege that Legendz was a front for the gambling business, something that Coats says will not be accepted.
“The defendants cannot hide the allegedly illegal sports gambling operation behind corporate veils or state and international boundaries,” said Coats.
The US has sent a message to online gambling operators in recent years that any illegal activity will not be tolerated. Two years ago, the first indictments came down under the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker were all indicted. All three have struck deals with the US to pay back players.
PokerStars is working on several deals with US land-based casino companies with the hope of securing an online gambling license in jurisdictions that have regulated the industry since the 2011 indictment.