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Lousiana cancels Dicks arrest warrant

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by jetset, Mar 21, 2007.

    Mar 21, 2007
  1. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service

    State officials admit impossibility of proceeding....in return for a cash payment

    The drama that saw then Sportingbet.com chairman and UK citizen Peter Dicks arrested and detained in New York last year entered its final act this week when state of Lousiana officials accepted a punitive payment of some $400 000 from Sportingbet and closed the case.

    2TheHeadAdvocate.com, a Lousiana legal industry publication reports that Internet gambling charges were dismissed against the executive, who was visiting New York on non-gambling related business when detained on a covert warrant issued in Lousiana. But extradition issues left the case nearly impossible to prosecute, St. Landry Parish District Attorneys Office admitted.

    State Police, working with St. Landry prosecutors, had secured sealed warrants in May in an investigation that focused on Sportingbet PLC, a company that operates out of England, where online gambling is legal.

    The companys former chairman, Peter Dicks, was arrested on the Louisiana warrant in September on arrival in New York.

    But Dicks was subsequently freed because New York law allows extradition only when the accused is physically present in the state where the alleged crime was committed. Dicks could have been arrested had he set foot in Louisiana, but prosecutors did not expect that to happen any time soon.

    We were at the point where we couldnt get them here, St. Landry Parish District Attorney Earl Taylor said. [so] we tried to do something to make them pay.

    Taylor said officials with Sportingbet approached his office about what could be done to resolve the pending legal case, which could have remained in limbo for several years. They wanted to get the arrest warrants dismissed, Taylor said.

    He said the $400,000 - delivered by check Tuesday morning - will be shared by his office, State Police and the state Attorney Generals Office.

    The District Attorneys Office will use its share of the money to support programs to tackle Internet-related crimes, such as identity theft, child pornography and online gambling, Taylor said.

    Opelousas attorney Leslie Schiff, local counsel for Sportingbet, confirmed the arrangement with District Attorneys Office but had no further comment.

    The dismissal of the gambling charges comes after Congress passed a law last year that curtailed Internet gambling by prohibiting the use of credit cards and electronic transfers to pay bets over the Internet.

    Louisiana is one of only a handful of states that have banned online wagering, and the case against Sportingbet was one of the first since the practice was banned in 1997.

    The case was launched in St. Landry Parish because it was worked by State Police investigators out of the Opelousas office.
    5 people like this.
  2. Mar 21, 2007
  3. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    And the state cops' spin on the story!!!

    And the spin the state has put on the story....

    Despite a failure to gain cooperation from courts in New York City, District Attorney Earl Taylor announced Tuesday his department has shut down an illegal Internet gambling operation and won a $400,000 settlement.

    "That is the largest amount ever received for this kind of activity in Louisiana," Taylor said.

    The case started in May 2006 when Taylor's office, working in cooperation with the Louisiana State Police and state Attorney General's office, issued five arrest warrants charging violation of Louisiana's Internet Gambling statute. At the time, Louisiana was one of only four states that had a specific law prohibiting gambling online.

    On Sept. 7, Peter Dicks, chairman of SportingBet PLC, was detained in New York City on one of those warrants while traveling in the United States on other business. SportingBet is one of several major London-based online gambling firms.

    "However, the New York court refused to grant the extradition and refused to give Louisiana jurisdiction over the defendant," Taylor said.

    Taylor said, since online gambling was not then a crime in New York City, the court refused to act. "The judge ruled the warrants were not enforceable," Taylor said.

    As a result, on Sept. 29, Dicks was released from custody and returned to the United Kingdom. He would later step down as SportingBet's chairman.

    While unable to bring him and other executives to justice, Taylor said his prosecution has forced the company to agree to stop violating the Louisiana online gambling law and SportingBet has divested itself of its Louisiana gaming operations.

    In return for dropping the prosecution, SportingBet has also agreed to pay a $400,000 settlement. Taylor said the money will be divided equally between his office, the Louisiana State Police and the Louisiana Attorney General's office and used to investigate and prosecute Internet crime.

    Taylor said without the cooperation of the New York courts, the case could not go forward.

    "We did everything we could to bring this man here," Taylor said. "Due to the difficulty in obtaining jurisdiction over the defendants and the difficulty in securing evidentiary proof necessary to sustain a criminal prosecution, we have declined to institute prosecution and have canceled the arrest warrants."

    Like all London-listed online gaming groups, SportingBet was hit hard when the United States Congress unexpectedly voted to ban Internet gambling in October.

    It sold its U.S. operations for $1 just hours ahead of the ban, and saw the value of its shares drop by more than $2 billion.

    Despite surrendering its U.S. operations, SportingBet remains a major player worldwide with more than 2.5 million registered customers in 200 countries, who place more than one million bets on casino games, poker, sports and virtual games per day.
    2 people like this.
  4. Mar 21, 2007
  5. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse

    Pencil Pusher

    Thanks for the updates, Jetset!!
  6. Mar 21, 2007
  7. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    STILL At Leisure
    United Kingdom

    Perhaps the check will bounce, just like all those others issued to US players from online gambling sites. Are they holding him till it clears?
  8. Mar 21, 2007
  9. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

    Web Dev.

    Really? Wonder what on earth made them think that. :rolleyes:
  10. Mar 21, 2007
  11. lots0

    lots0 Banned User - troll posts - flaming

    I do nothing productive
    Hell on Earth
    When the charges against Dicks were first filed, there is a thread around here where I was wondering why the most corrupt state government in the US was prosecuting Dicks in the first place.

    I believe the prosecution of Dicks was prompted by people with money connections to land based gaming in the US.

    You can all call me a tin foil hat wearing mofo if you want, but I believe that the good folks in Louisiana got paid from both ends...

    Anyone wanna bet (I might consider odds) that this type of State Sponsored Extortion does not end here?
  12. Mar 21, 2007
  13. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse

    Pencil Pusher
    Well, I'll join you in the paranoia corner. Louisiana could use a good half million as they're still a moldy mess after Katrina. And what's an easy way to make a few million bucks? .....

    On the other hand, can't Dicks sue them for stupidity or something? I guess not since he paid up...
  14. Mar 28, 2007
  15. lojo

    lojo Banned User - repetitive violations of <a href="ht

    We see this kind of 'non-prosecutorial settlement' happening in at least two other public instances. Give us some money and all of your info and we'll letcha go. Didn't there used to be a word for that? Anyone place odds on it happening when we don't hear about it?

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