BOSTON -- A federal jury on Dec. 5 convicted two operators of an Antigua-based online casino of racketeering and related offenses. One of the two defendants was the first person convicted under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, according to officials at the U.S. Department of Justice. | SEE STATEMENT
The Internet gambling statute was enacted by Congress in 2006 to deter the use of the U.S. banking system to pay Internet gambling debts incurred by American citizens.
Following a five-week trial, Daniel Eremian, 61, of Boca Raton, FL, and Todd Lyons, 37, of Beverly, MA, were convicted of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, operating an illegal gambling business and wire act offenses. Lyons was also convicted of money laundering, filing false tax returns and interstate travel in aid of racketeering.
U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said the convictions demonstrate that the federal government will "apply the full weight of its resources to identify, investigate and prosecute individuals who seek to profit from offshore gambling."
The defendants face up to 20 years in prison on RICO charges; five years in prison on the illegal gambling charges; and two years in prison on the wire act charges. Lyons also faces three years in prison on the tax charges, five years in prison on the interstate travel in aid of racketeering and UIGEA charges and 20 years in prison on the money laundering charges.
Each count also carries three to five years of supervised release and fines up to $250,000.