In America, three Florida men have pled guilty to Federal charges relating to the BetOnSports case, marking the first convictions of a non-gambling entity for an online gambling-related crime.
William ‘Bill’ Hernan Lenis pled guilty in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in St Louis last week to the interstate transportation of gambling paraphernalia. He also admitted that his company, Mobile Promotions, sent logo-wrapped motor homes to sporting events across the country in order to promote BetOnSports featuring computers and mobile phones so that gamblers could place bets, recruit new customers and collect signatures to try to change the law.
He revealed that another of his companies, Direct Mail Expertise, posted two to three million advertisements for the online betting firm every year between 2000 and 2006 and that he dealt directly with relatives of jailed BetOnSports founder Gary ¬Kaplan.
Lenis also admitted that his son, William ‘Will’ Luis Lenis, daughter and nephew also helped him with the project. His son pled guilty to the transmission of wagering information after he helped an undercover police officer make a bet in a motor home in Jacksonville, Florida, in December of 2002 and now faces up to one year in prison.
Nephew Manny Lenis pled guilty to a misdemeanour charge of failing to pay a wagering tax and is likely to face probation or six months or less in prison. He admitted accepting a bet from an undercover police officer on the same date as his cousin.
In exchange for their guilty pleas, prosecutors agreed to drop all other charges against the men along with those against Lenis’ daughter. They may also be rewarded under Federal sentencing guidelines with even less time for cooperating with investigators.
Kaplan and former BetOnSports Chief Executive David Carruthers are still waiting for their day in court on racketeering and conspiracy charges following arrest in 2006.