BetonSports skips hearing to explain missing hearings

Another court deadline has come and gone for BetonSports, Plc, the London-based gaming company facing fraud and racketeering charges for accepting bets from American customers. This time, they failed to show at a hearing intended to explain missing previous hearings, and the judge was non-plussed enough to slap them with contempt of court.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports no representatives from the company appeared at their scheduled hearing Friday, and U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson was told by BetonSports lawyer Jeffrey Demerath that company officials instructed him not to show up.

Not to show up for a hearing, ironically, called for the company to explain why it shouldn't be penalized for ignoring the court.

The company agreed to close its U.S. operations last year, signing a civil settlement in federal court that officially gave up its $1 billion-plus U.S. betting business, promised refunds to customers and ensured documents would be provided to government investigators.

But BetonSports officials or lawyers have repeatedly failed to show up for court appearances, and on Friday Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Fagan asked the judge to impose fines on company officers and directors for every day they didn't show up.

The judge said she was considering an appropriate penalty.

The company was indicted last summer, including individual charges for founder Gary Kaplan, then-CEO David Carruthers and nine other defendants. All of the defendants have entered not guilty pleas in the case.

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