Antigua unfreezes BetonSports assets


At least one thing is going right for BetonSports Plc. The British Internet sportsbook that pleaded guilty to a U.S. racketeering conspiracy charge will be allowed to pay off some creditors after a court in Antigua and Barbuda unfroze the company's assets.

According to a story in the Caribbean News the court lifted an order that barred the removal of any BetonSports funds from the small nation. The company, which is based in London, pleaded guilty back in May and both the founder, Gary Kaplan, and CEO, David Carruthers, are being held by U.S. authorities. No date for either trial has been set.

BetonSports was a major player in the U.S. gambling market and pulled in several billion dollars in the early 2000s. In 2006 U.S. authorities indicted the company and a number of its executives on RICO, mail fraud and tax evasion charges. As part of a subsequent plea bargain the company agreed to pay back money owed to bettors.

"The Antiguan court order creates the possibility that funds may be collected from the debtors of BetonSports which then could be used to repay some or all of the United States customers at least a portion of their claims," said BetonSports attorney Jeffrey Demerath in court papers.

Sentencing of the company has been delayed to June 23 of next year because Demerath petitioned for delay, arguing that it would take time to contact creditors and validate their claims.

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