A Spring man was arrested yesterday for being one of the masterminds behind Legendz Sports, a billion-dollar offshore betting company.
Federal agents arrested Bartice King and three others from the Houston area as part of a sweep that resulted in indictments against 34 individuals and 23 corporate entities, the Department of Justice said.
"These defendants allegedly participated in an illegal sports gambling business, lining their pockets with profits from over a billion dollars in illegal gambling proceeds," said the DOJ's Mythili Raman. "Today's charges demonstrate that we are as determined as ever to hold accountable those involved in facilitating illegal online gambling by U.S. citizens, regardless of where the business operates or where the defendants reside."
The DOJ said the defendants:
conspired with others to operate internet and telephone gambling services first from San Jose, Costa Rica, and then from Panama City, Panama, which took wagers almost exclusively from gamblers in the United States seeking to place bets on sports. Known since 2003 as Legendz Sports, the enterprise allegedly used bookies located in the United States to illegally solicit and accept sports wagers as well as settle gambling debts.
Besides King, the Houston-area arrestees included Serena Moneeque King of Spring, Neil John Myler of Houston and, from Spring, Edward Louis Buonanno, who the DOJ tells us goes by the aliases "Gooch" and "Bubbles."
The other individuals were from seven different states and from Panama.
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Says the DOJ:
The indictment alleges that Legendz Sports sought to maximize the number of gamblers who opened wagering accounts by offering both "post-up" betting, which requires a bettor to first set up and fund an account before placing bets, and "credit" betting, which allowed the bettor to place a wager without depositing money in advance through face-to-face meetings with bookies or agents.
The 95-page indictment alleges that Legendz Sports solicited millions of illegal bets totaling over $1 billion.
The feds say they are also seeking $1 billion in forfeitures, which they say can be traced to "real estate, bank accounts, brokerage and investment accounts, certificates of deposit, IRA, domain names, a Sabreliner aircraft, a gas lease and vehicles."