Sportsbook Owner Kaplan Could Be Extradited

July 28, 2006

Vice-President Laura Chinchilla, also the Minister of Justice, announced Monday that Gary Kaplan, founder and owner of the online gambling company BetonSports, could be extradited to the United States, where he is wanted by the U.S. Department of Justice on allegations of 20 felony violations of federal law.

BetonSports is a London-based operation with a massive call center in Costa Rica. Kaplan is believed to be in Costa Rica, though his exact whereabouts remain unknown.

David Carruthers, a citizen of the United Kingdom and head of BetonSports, was arrested July 16 in the United States (TT, July 21). Carruthers, Kaplan and nine others from BetonSports and three other online gambling companies have been indicted on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and fraud. BetonSports announced this week Carruthers was fired because he has been unable to perform the duties of his job since his arrest, according to the daily Al Día.

Al Día reported July 20 that Chinchilla said the online gambling companies, known as sportsbooks, and their operators are protected by law in Costa Rica because their activities are legal here. Some online news sites misinterpreted this as meaning Kaplan could not be extradited.

Al Día reported that Chinchilla this week said the legal status of sportsbooks wouldn’t prevent Kaplan from being extradited, if the United States requests it through the proper judicial and diplomatic channels.

Chief Prosecutor Francisco Dall’Anese said the United States has not asked for Kaplan’s extradition, and Interpol has not issued an international arrest warrant for him, Al Día reported.

 

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