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  • Baltimore City Paper

Bodog and Four Canadians Accused in Maryland of $100 Million-Plus in Illegal Online Sports Gambling

The ongoing, six-year-old

kicked into overdrive today with the unsealing of a criminal indictment against Bodog, one of the world's largest gambling sites, and four Canadians associated with it: billionaire founder Calvin Ayre, accountant James Philip, finance manager David Ferguson, and media buyer Derrick Maloney. The gambling-and-money-laundering indictment, which was handed down on Feb. 22, accuses the defendants of raking in and laundering more than $100 million in illegal sports-betting proceeds between at least June 9, 2005, and Jan. 6 of this year. The Maryland U.S. Attorney, Rod Rosenstein, said in a press release that "sports betting is illegal in Maryland, and federal law prohibits bookmakers from flouting that law simply because they are located outside the country." He added that "many of the harms that underlie gambling prohibitions are exacerbated when the enterprises operate over the internet without regulation." Bodog has been an obvious target in Maryland's probe since at least Dec. 21, 2006, court documents show, when an undercover IRS agent opened a Bodog account and started gambling online. As the probe continued, numerous defendants have been charged--two of them,

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, for laundering Bodog's money via two companies, ZipPayments, Inc., and JBL Services, Inc., that are mentioned in the Bodog indictment. The case against Courdy is currently sealed, and has been since sometime in the fall of 2009, a little over a year after the charges were filed. In Dec. 2010, Garone was

after his cooperation with law enforcers was completed. Another of the probe's cooperators,

, pleaded guilty in January 2011 to conducting an illegal gambling business. Davitt's scheduled sentencing has been postponed, and in July the prosecutor in the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Kay, wrote a letter to the judge explaining that Davitt's cooperation would continue "at least over the next several months." Yesterday, Maryland money-laundering charges against another of the probe's defendants--

--were dismissed, and court documents state that his prosecution will be pursued elsewhere. The allegations in Wienski's case also involve ZipPayments and JBL Services. Wienski did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

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