Feds throw book at alleged North Shore bookies running Internet gambling site on tropical isle
Two North Shore brothers and two of their employees were indicted recently on charges they ran an illegal sports-betting operation out of Antigua that grossed $22 million over 14 years, the US Attorney's office in Boston charges.
Robert and Daniel Eremian and Richard Sullivan and Todd Lyons face 442 counts related to Sports Offshore, the operation they allegedly ran from 1996 until this past spring, when Lyons was first indicted. They face 30 years in prison if convicted. In addition to gambling-related counts, Robert Eremian is also charged with attempting to get witnesses before a grand jury investigating Sports Offshore to change their testimony or destroy evidence.
The indictment alleges the Eremians hatched the scheme to bypass US gambling laws by moving a gambling business from Lynnfield to Antigua. Robert Eremian moved to Antigua and his brother moved to Florida to oversee operations there. Sullivan and Lyons, the indictment alleges, stayed behind in Massachusetts, where they collected money from agents and paid out on bets won by customers. In 2007, the indictment alleges, Robert Eremian brought $300,000 with him on a trip to the US to pay a gambler who'd made a winning bet on an unspecified event.
The company employed 40 to 50 people in the US, paid on a commission basis, and laundered money through a variety of shell companies and banks in the US, Antigua and Belize, the indictment charges.
Some 75 of the charges relate to alleged violations of a 2006 law intended to block Americans from transferring money from overseas gambling outlets to the US. The four are the first in Massachusetts to be indicted under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, the US Attorney's office says.