International edition
June 25, 2021

The reason for his apparent change of heart is unclear

Betonsports chief David Carruthers changes guilty plea in the US

(US).- The British online gambling executive David Carruthers, who has spent three years under house arrest in Missouri, has withdrawn his “guilty” plea just days before he was due to be sentenced by a US court on racketeering charges for breaching America's sweeping restrictions on internet gaming.

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arruthers was chief executive of the betting firm Betonsports until he was arrested in 2006 while changing planes at Dallas airport en route from Britain to the company's operational base in Costa Rica. In a case that drew international attention and accusations of judicial over-reach, the Scottish businessman was accused of breaking US law for presiding over a company that accepted unlawful sports bets on the internet from Americans.

In April, he agreed to plead guilty under a deal with prosecutors in return for a recommended penalty of 33 months' imprisonment.  The reason for Carruthers's apparent change of heart is unclear. Carruthers nor his lawyer, Scott Rosenblum, responded to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for the US attorney's office in St Louis said prosecutors would not discuss the case.

The development will come as a surprise to Carruthers's supporters who had hoped that he would be allowed to return home on Friday. His lawyers were expected to argue that the 52-year-old businessman has effectively served his agreed sentence of 33 months through his hotel confinement on us$ 1 million bail since August 2006.

Several other Betonsports executives are still pleading guilty, including the company's founder, Gary Kaplan.

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