linked to Mafia?
One of the top
online casinos once shared the same address, technical support
and solicitor as a company linked to New York’s notorious
Bonanno crime family.
The company was part of an illegal gambling ring that netted
millions for the Bonannos, one of New York’s five Mafia
families, according to US prosecutors. SDS shared an address,
technical support and a solicitor based in Leamington Spa,
Warwickshire, with the British online casinos firm.
The online casinos industry has been under scrutiny recently and
much controversy. First, online casinos were weakened by a bill
voted on by US politicians. Next, a top CEO in the online
casinos industry was arrested. Third, online casinos saw share
prices fall on the London Stock Exchange. What should online
casinos do next? What can online casinos expect next? Will the
online casinos industry rebound or is this the doomsday scenario
for online casinos that some envisioned? While the answers are
not clear yet, the online casinos industry remains in both the
positive and negative light.
The firm that was linked to the mafia was based in Costa Rica,
home of many online casinos and also a fugitive founder of one
of the top online casinos, Gary Kaplan. Gambling sources believe
the US authorities’ investigations into the mafia and other
companies using Costa Rican-based firms to circumvent US laws
may have triggered the prosecution of one of the world’s top
In May 2005 36 people linked to the firm were indicted by the US
authorities, charged with running an illegal gambling operation
that netted $360m (£193m) over more than two years.
The indictment said Bonanno acting boss Anthony Urso, also known
as Tony Green, allegedly received an unspecified monthly
“tribute” from the gambling ring for protection.
Urso ran one of the most notorious crime gangs in America. In
September last year he received a 20-year jail sentence for
murder and racketeering.
Much of the money collected by the firm went through Costa Rica,
home to a large number of online betting groups that target
America, where online sports betting is largely
The internet casino is quoted in London, but has its operations
in Costa Rica. David Carruthers, chief executive of the British
company, was arrested by the FBI earlier this month when he
changed planes at Dallas on his way from the UK to Costa Rica.
Kaplan faces extradition from Costa Rica and is now wanted by
the FBI. Carruthers was sacked last week.
Asked by a potential client what his company’s relationship with
the internet casino was, Clark wrote: “As I have stated before,
BOS and my companies are independently owned.
Along with space here at The Mall I get the benefit of tech
support from BOS. Also, they maintain my internet capabilities,
along with my website.”
Both of the firms have used the same solicitor, Leamington-based
Ian Burr & Co. According to internet domain-name searches, Burr
was described as “administrative contact” and “technical
contact” for the sites.