Posted by: Idioma Extra | January 12, 2010

Tuesday’s News

CEO of BetOnSports
sentenced to 33 months in prison


It’s been a bad couple of months for the former online gambling site BetOnSports, which ran a large part of its operations from a location in Costa Rica’s Mall San Pedro, east of San José.

On Friday, former CEO of the company David Carruthers was sentenced to 33 months in a federal prison after pleading guilty to racketeering charges in a U.S district court in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States. In November, the founder of BetOnSports, Gary Kaplan, was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison for violation of the U.S. Federal Wire Act, which prohibits wire transmissions of foreign commerce earned as a result of betting on sporting events, and in December, BetOnSports was fined $28 million for its illegal operations and failure to pay money owed to U.S. gamblers.

BetOnSports, which was founded in 1995 by Kaplan, became one of the largest online sports gambling Web sites during the early 2000s. In 1997, the company moved operations to Costa Rica and by 2004 employed an estimated 1,700 people at the San Pedro location. During its peak year in 2004, BetOnSports raked in an estimated $1.25 billion with 98 percent of its customers based in the U.S. That year, the company also entered the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM), where it was publicly traded until 2006.

But things turned ugly fast for the online giant, and, after extensive investigation by the U.S. government, the company was indicted in 2006 on charges of mail fraud, tax evasion and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Shortly after the charges, Carruthers was arrested in 2006 and Kaplan in 2007. The company suspended its U.S. operations after Carruthers’ arrest and has since folded.

Word of the Day

Main Entry: bet
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): bet also bet·ted; bet·ting
Date: 1597
transitive verb
1 a : to stake on the outcome of an issue or the performance of a contestant
b : to be able to be sure that —usually used in the expression you bet <you bet I’ll be there>
2 a : to maintain with or as if with a bet
b : to make a bet with
c : to make a bet on
intransitive verb : to lay a bet

More Vocabulary

Fine: v. to impose a sum as punishment for an offense
Fold: v. to fail completely: collapse; especially: to go out of business
Indict: v. to charge with a fault or offense: criticize, accuse
Racketeer: v. to extort money from
Rake: v. to gain rapidly or in abundance – usually used with in

Love those Phrasal Verbs!

Check back tomorrow for phrasal verbs!

Meeting Phrases

Below are some phrases used in business meetings in English. To learn more phrases and expressions, consider Idioma Internacional’s AFD 400 Meetings and Business Communication Course!


Conditional Acceptance

We are prepared to…, on condition that…
I think we could…, provided that…
I believe we can…, if…

Asking if it’s Acceptable

Is that acceptable?
Would that be acceptable?


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