|US District Court Judge Bruce Kauffman has thrown out most of the convictions against George Atiyeh, 43, a former NFL player and college wrestling and football star, for “running a million-dollar sports betting business.” |
Atiyeh was convicted last September of 15 criminal counts, ranging from conspiracy to money laundering, as well as accepting wagering illegally. However, the judge heard from one alternate juror, Beth Ashman, that “jurors slept during the trial and didn’t give deliberations adequate attention.” She said Atiyeh did not get a fair trial. Although another alternate juror, Carole Kirchner, thought jurors had in fact performed to standards, Judge Kauffman dismissed the convictions he felt he should -- but without stating in his own view whether he or the jury were at fault in any way during the trial.
According to his prosecutors, Atiyeh alleged ran an illegal business, International Casino, “which took in 8,000 calls a month and took in more than $1 million in bets during a 14-month period in 1995 and 1996 ...”