Former BetonSports CEO gets 33 months in prison

David Carruthers, the former BetonSports CEO who pleaded guilty in a U.S. government investigation that shut down the online gambling company, has been sentenced to 33 months in prison.

U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson sentenced the British national at a hearing in St. Louis. He previously pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy.

Carruthers and 10 others, including BetonSports founder Gary S. Kaplan, a U.S. citizen, were indicted by a grand jury in 2006 for violating federal laws banning the placement of wagers by wire. Carruthers was arrested in July 2006 as he changed planes at a Dallas-area airport.

“I understand now that the business was operating outside the laws of the United States,” Carruthers said in a statement he read in court. “I realize I made the biggest mistake of my life.” He apologized to employees, customers, investors and his family. “I am sorry for the actions of BetonSports and the trouble it caused,” he said.

Carruthers’ attorney, Scott Rosenblum, had asked the judge for a shorter sentence since Carruthers was incarcerated for 32 days and was under house confinement for more than three years.

“I believe your apology and remorse, but I know at some point you learned that this endeavor was illegal,” Jackson told Carruthers in court. “I don’t think you thought it was a grey area. I think you knew there would be ramifications for your conduct.”

BetonSports took in $1.25 billion in 2004, with 98 percent of that revenue coming from bets made through its Web site by U.S.-based clients, according to court papers.

The company suspended trading of its shares on the London Stock Exchange on July 18, 2006, a day after the indictment was unsealed. The company filed for liquidation and in May 2007 through its attorney also pleaded guilty to a racketeering-related charge.

Kaplan was sentenced to more than four years in prison.