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U.S. Man Faces Charge In Illegal Costa Rica Sports Betting Case

Costa Rica News – The latest to face prosecution in the United States in an illegal sports betting enterprise involving Costa Rica, is Kenneth Schmitt, accused of committing his crimes in Hawaii and Mississippi, is set for an initial appearance December 20 in U.S. federal court.

online-sports-betting-costa-rica-1The Sun Herald reports the U.S. Attorney’s Office has charged Schmitt in a bill of information alleging he transmitted wagering information for 4 1/2 years, from September 2008 through May 2014.

It’s unclear if Schmitt was placing bets, accepting bets, or providing information on access to the sports books.

Before computerized betting came about, agents or others who handled bets were called “bookmakers” or “bookies.” Now, they’re generally referred to as agents.

The conspiracy involved the set-up of illegal web-based sports books and a network of agents and others to oversee different groups of gamblers, according to the charging document. Defendants and gamblers allegedly were given user names and passwords to have regular access to the sports books on sporting events.

The “Costa Rican Catch” is listed as the No. 2 of the “The Biggest Illegal Gambling Rings of All-Time” by Casino.org.

The 2015 NFL season was an incredibly profitable one for four men running a gambling ring in Costa Rica, and later, the authorities. The men were running a gambling ring through sites like WagerABC.com and TheWagerSpot.com and reportedly took $1 billion in wagers during the NFL season.

To launder their massive earnings, the guys bought over 20 houses in Costa Rica. In what a district attorney called the “largest gambling operation ever dismantled by a local prosecutor’s office”, they ended up facing bails as large as $2 million and up to 25 years in prison.

Schmitt, for instance, cashed a check for US$2,370 that was related to the conspiracy on May 21, 2014, the court document says. He and co-conspirators reportedly concealed the existence and nature of the sport books and tried to shield gamblers and others from detection and prosecution.

From QCostaRica

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