Carruthers Makes Not Guilty Plea at Online Casino Trial
By Andrew B
David Carruthers, the fired chief executive of BetonSports, appeared in a Missouri court yesterday to plead not guilty to charges that he ran an illegal online gambling operation.

Mr Carruthers is among 11 people and four companies, including BetonSports, named in an indictment alleging offences under American laws forbidding the taking of bets over telephone wires. He has also been charged with racketeering, fraud and tax evasion.

Last week Mr Carruthers was fired by BetonSports, which said he could not fulfil his duties while in custody, but the company did say its insurers would foot his legal bill.

BetonSports founder Gary Kaplan, who is the subject of a U.S. arrest warrant, is still at large, although several other figures indicted in the US action have been arrested and also pleaded not guilty in St Louis yesterday. They included Mr Kaplan's siblings, Neil Kaplan and Lori Kaplan-Multz, former BetonSports employee Tim Brown, and four people connected with a marketing firm used by Gary Kaplan's gambling businesses.

BetonSports itself failed to send a legal team to fight an injunction that has shut down its lucrative US betting site. The injunction was extended for two weeks until 14 August.

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