HOUSTON (CBS Houston) According to the Department of Justice, thirty-four individuals and 23 entities have been indicted and accused of operating an illegal sports bookmaking business that saw revenue of more than $1 billion in illegal bets. Four of the individuals named in the indictment have ties to the Houston area.
The indictment alleges that the defendants were systematically operating an illegal sports gambling operation. “I thank the IRS and FBI for their diligent work over several years to investigate this billion dollar international gambling enterprise, said U.S. Attorney Sanford C. Coats.
“These defendants allegedly participated in an illegal sports gambling business, lining their pockets with profits from over a billion dollars in illegal gambling proceeds,” stated Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman. “[The current] charges demonstrate that we are as determined as ever to hold accountable those involved in facilitating illegal online gambling by U.S. citizens, regardless of where the business operates, or where the defendants reside.”
The indictment further states that Bartice Alan King, aka “Luke” and “Cool,” 42, of Spring, Texas, conspired with others to operate internet and telephone gambling services first from San Jose, then onto Costa Rica. Their alleged illegal operating system then spanned well into and then from Panama City, Panama; they took wagers almost exclusively from gamblers in the United States seeking to place bets on sports.
The illegal enterprise which was once know as Legendz Sports back in 2003, allegedly used bookies located in the United States to illegally solicit and accept sports wagers and settle gambling debts.
Thirty-four defendants were named in the indictment and are further alleged to have been employees, members and associates of Legendz Sports.