Arizona man loses legal quest to reclaim $800k lost via online sports betting

An Arizona sports bettor has lost his bid to recover $800k he lost wagering with an online credit betting operation. On Thursday, the Arizona Court of Appeals unanimously rejected a claim by Jerry Hannosh that his online wagering was in violation of state racketeering laws. In 2012, Hannosh filed a civil suit against David Segal, Segal’s wife, and several other individuals Hannosh said operated two Costa Rica-based online credit betting sites. Hannosh had sought the return of his lost wagers plus damages for ‘injury to his person’.

The court noted that regardless of the Segals having assured Hannosh that wagering with them was legal, Hannosh had made no claim to be a victim of rigged games or manipulated odds, thus Hannosh “got what he bargained for: an opportunity to win.” Since Hannosh “voluntarily took the understood risk that he could win and that he could lose, his losses cannot be considered ‘an injury to his person’ recoverable through an Arizona RICO lawsuit.” However, the court did rescind the legal fees the lower courts had awarded the Segals in rejecting the original suit.

Meanwhile, a federal grand jury has indicted nine members of a sports betting operation in Pennsylvania. The US Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania said the operation had been in action for at least six months, but didn’t offer specifics on the volume of wagers handled. All nine individuals face four counts of illegal gambling, money laundering and conspiracy, which carry maximum sentences of up to five years in stripes and fines of $250k (per count).

In North Dakota, a man already serving time for mortgage fraud was hit with federal sports betting and money laundering charges. The US Attorney for North Dakota unsealed an indictment this week charging 68-year-old Gerald Greenfield with operating a credit betting operation for four years starting in 2007. The operation, which took wagers over the phone and via Costa Rica-based online sites, reportedly handled $10m in wagers per year, netting an annual profit of between $500k and $600k.

Finally, the ringleader of a Hawaiian sports betting operation was sentenced on Tuesday to six months in prison for transmitting gambling info, money laundering and tax evasion. Prosecutors described 40-year-old Felix Gee Wan Tom as the ‘master agent’ supervising over 20 Oahu-based agents who steered bettors to the operation’s online betting sites. The ring handled around $670m in wagers over its seven years of operation until it was taken offline in 2012. In addition to his prison stint, Tom was required to forfeit $4m in assets, including two Honolulu condos and a house in Las Vegas, and ordered to pay $118k in back taxes on his illegal income. Tom is the last of 27 defendants to learn his fate.

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