founder faces jail time in illegal gambling case

The man behind was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for running an illegal gambling operation in Las Vegas and hiding some $1.4 million from IRS.

Tony Chau, 32, was also ordered on Thursday to pay $567,571 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and forfeit $1.4 million to the federal government, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. In addition, he has to stay out of the gambling business during his three-year supervised release from prison and will have to serve 200 hours of community service.

Chau, who has penned Exterminator Sports Betting System, told the court he’s a “broken man,” admitting that he should have been more careful in his business dealings, according to the report.

Back in May, Chau pleaded guilty to charges of conducting an illegal gambling business, money laundering and making a false statement on a tax return.

In his plea bargain, the man admitted to operating the now-defunct website using sports books located in Costa Rica and Panama, which do not have Nevada licenses.

A math geek with passion for sports and statistics, Chau founded his first betting system—The Sports Betting Champ—in 2007. Chau received commissions from these offshore sports books on the gambling losses of the customers he referred to them. He wired his commissions to a third-party bank account “with the intent to promote the carrying on of the illegal gambling business and to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership and control of the proceeds,” authorities said.

According to the IRS, Chau failed to report the $1.4 million commission he received from the offshore sports books between 2008 and 2011, which left him with an unpaid tax bill of $567,571.

Authorities noted Chau started his illegal gambling business in Massachusetts in 2007, which he continued to operate even after moving to Las Vegas a year later.

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