Richard Sullivan, a 73-year-old Antigua native, was arrested at JFK Airport in New York for allegedly running a $22 million illegal offshore sports betting operation.
Sullivan and his co-defendants were charged with over 75 counts of using US bank accounts involving US-based gamblers to pay gambling debts. According to the Massachusetts District Attorney’s Office, Sullivan was arraigned in New York district court and is scheduled to appear before a federal court in Boston.
Sullivan is alleged to be a principal in Sports Offshore, an online gambling site licensed in Antigua operating in the US.
Not many offshore sports betting arrest
In 2010, Sullivan was indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston and charged with money laundering, racketeering. In addition, he was also charged with operating an illegal gambling business, transmission of wagering information and interstate travel in aid of racketeering.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) statute was enacted in 2006 to deter the use of the US banking system to pay online gambling debts.
In a press release, the MA District Attorney’s Office said:
“This prosecution marked one of the first times that individuals were charged with violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), and the first in Massachusetts.”
Sullivan’s other three co-conspirators are:
- Todd Lyons
- Robert Eremian
- Daniel Eremian
The group allegedly collected over $22 million from the illegal enterprise. It also laundered over $10 million in checks and wire transfers.
Hefty sentences could follow arrests
In 2011, Lyons and Daniel Eremain were sentenced to three and four-year prison terms, respectively. Lyons was ordered to forfeit $24.6 million and Eremain $7.7 million. According to Legal Sports Report, if convicted, Sullivan faces two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each crime.
Recently, a coalition of gambling regulators has urged the US Department of Justice to prioritize fighting illegal, offshore online gambling.
The group includes regulators from seven gaming states:
- New Jersey