|Two men were sentenced to five years in prison and fined $100,000 each for their part in an illegal offshore Internet gambling operation.|
The Associated Press reports that Duane Pede, 52, and Jeff D’Ambrosia, 42, pleaded guilty to gambling and tax charges. The two men also agreed to pay $1.4 million in back taxes U.S. attorney Grant Johnson said.
Gold Medal Sports, the company they operated from an island in the Dutch Netherland Antilles, also pleaded guilty to racketeering and criminal forfeiture counts and agreed to forfeit $3.3 million.
Pede and D’Ambrosia took $402.7 million in bets through Gold Medal Sports over the telephone and the Internet from August 1996 to April 2000, according to Johnson’s office.
Accepting wagers over phone lines or the Internet in the United States is a felony under the federal Wire Wagering Act.
The charges stemmed from a 1999 phone call an undercover Internal Revenue Service agent made from Beloit to Gold Medal Sports to place a $1,000 bet on the Green Bay Packers to beat the Seattle Seahawks by more than five points in their Nov.1 game.